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Home arrow Blog arrow September 2010 arrow September 21, 2010: 2010's Carl von Ossietzky Medal, Mordechai Vanunu

September 21, 2010: 2010's Carl von Ossietzky Medal, Mordechai Vanunu
September 21, 2010: 12.12.10 Carl von Ossietzky Medal, Mordechai Vanunu and More MEDIA Failures 

On September 15, 2010 I broke the following story but was asked to pull it until the official announcement was made on Ocrober 2, 2010. I did.

But on September 19, PRESS TV published "Medal for Israeli nuclear whistleblower"

That story has been disseminated all over the World Wide Web, but NOT one reporter bothered to contact Mordechai Vanunu for details, nor mentioned the fact that on 30 September 2010, it will be 24 years since Israel kidnapped Vanunu and has denied him his human rights ever since!

Carl von Ossietzky was a journalist and German pacifist who resisted the Nazis, and was convicted of high treason and espionage in 1931 after publishing details of Germany's violation of the Treaty of Versailles by rebuilding an Air force, the predecessor of the Luftwaffe and training pilots in the Soviet Union.

On September 12, 2010, the whistle-blower of Israel's WMD Program, Mordechai Vanunu’s lawyer received the following email:

Dear Mr. Sfard,


I am writing you on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the International League of Human Rights – German section of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), that nominates the laureates of the League’s Carl von Ossietzky medal for courageous dedication to human rights each year.


It is my pleasure to let you know, that the board has decided to honour your client, Mordechai Vanunu with the Carl von Ossietzky medal 2010.


As announced in my phone call last week, I would kindly ask you to pass the letter enclosed to Mr. Vanunu and to ask him, whether he is inclined to accept this honouring and to receive the medal.


The League’s Executive Board would need to know his response by Sept. 20th, in order to announce his nomination publically by the end of this month.


Thank you ever so much for your support … and for everything else you do.


Sincerely yours,


Prof. Dr. Fanny-Michaela Reisin, President International League for Human Rights - FIDH/AEDH Germany



On September 14, 2010, Vanunu responded to the FIDH




I am honored to get your announcement about the FIDH – award.

I will accept the award only in one condition, that I myself will be present to receive it. If it is not possible to guarantee that this condition is met then I would prefer that you do not give the award to me now, and keep the option to give it to me in time when I am free.


Thank you,

 Vanunu Mordechai JC

         VANUNU MORDECHAI  John Crossman. KIDNAPPED IN ROME SEP' 30 TH'-1986. 18 YEARS IN ISRAEL PRISON. OUT IN APR'-21-2004. 6 YEAR Waiting In East Jerusalem. AUG' 2010 waiting in Tel Aviv-To Be Free,To Leave  .     http:/ 



When Vanunu forwarded me the above he explained:


“This is my decision. If I am worthy to this award, then they wait 24 years to decide now, I can wait to be free to get it. To get it in Israel prison is to cooperate with this barbaric prison. And to play like Israel is a free democratic state, that I can get the award like I am free man while in fact I am in 24 years prison. Also remember with all the awards and public awareness, no one care or did any thing to prevent the prison sentence.”



On January 25, 2006, Vanunu's freedom of speech trial began which brought charges against him for giving interviews to foreign journalists.



Amy Goodman’s interview with Vanunu in 2004 was used as major testimony against him in his freedom of speech trial that began the same day Hamas was democratically elected on 25 January 2006.  


Amy Goodman was a 2008 recipient of The Right Livelihood Award, known as the Alternative Nobel, which Vanunu was also awarded in 1987, but received in a belated ceremony held in his honor in occupied east Jerusalem in 2005.


In Vanunu’s acceptance speech from Ashkelon prison he wrote:

“The passive acceptance and complacency with regard to the existence of nuclear weapons anywhere on earth is the disease of society today.

 “This struggle is not only a legitimate one - it is a moral, inescapable struggle. What we who are opposed to nuclear arms are saying is this: it is not we who broke the law, who violated human and civil rights, but the governments which chose to create the greatest threat to human life that ever existed. Never in human history was there such a threat to the very existence of mankind and to all life on earth.

“And no government, not even the most democratic, can force us to live under this threat. No state in the world can offer any kind of security against this menace of a nuclear holocaust, or guarantee to prevent it.

“By returning to the pre-nuclear era we are the sane civilians, we want to live - and we say to the governments, "no nuclear arms!"

“We must arouse people and warn them. Ours is the role of the angry prophet.


“A person who refuses to accept the existence of this suicidal type of arms is a mentally healthy person, who does not want to be expelled from this earth as Adam was expelled from the Garden of Eden.

“Already now there are enough nuclear missiles to destroy the world many times over.

“Nuclear weapons are means of extermination, and cannot protect any country, including Israel.

“A state that lives in fear of destruction must not threaten the whole world with annihilation. The people who experienced a holocaust must not bring a holocaust upon another people.

“Moreover, a nuclear war is worse than the holocaust of World War II. A single bomb can eliminate a whole city, destroy half a million people in one blow, including women, children and old people, and everything that lives in it, and even the very infra-structure of the city.

“The effects could last for hundreds of years - and yet it is so easy to do. That is the real holocaust. That is the real enemy, and not as the Israelis imagine.

“This issue should unite us all, because that is our real enemy.


“Any country, which manufactures and stocks nuclear weapons, is first of all endangering its own citizens. This is why the citizens must confront their government and warn it that it has no right to expose them to this danger.

“Because, in effect, the citizens are being held hostage by their own government, just as if they have been hijacked and deprived of their freedom and threatened. Therefore, when a man is held hostage by his own government, the least he can do is resist it and its nuclear policy. He must do this in self-defense, which is a basic civil right.

“Indeed, when governments develop nuclear weapons without the consent of their citizens - and this is true in most cases - they are violating the basic rights of their citizens, the basic right not to live under constant threat of annihilation.

“Is any government qualified and authorized to produce such weapons?

“The United States developed its atom bomb during World War II, without giving much thought to the long-term effects and consequences - and the rest of the world has followed it to this day.

“Only peace between states can promise real security to each state and to every citizen. No force in the world can provide security or ensure survival.

“It was not force, which spread the word of Jesus through the world.


“Children are brought into this world to live in it, not to fight. It is not true that war is an inevitable state of affairs - on the contrary, what is essential is peace.

 “It is a question of listening to your conscience, to the voice of Jesus telling you, yes, this is what you must do--sacrifice yourself, your personal freedom: in the nuclear era, and with the nuclear threat hanging over us, the answer to this challenge is obvious, one may not evade such a responsibility, one must accept the mission in order to warn against the danger.”


At that point in Vanunu’s 1987 statement the Israeli censors: censored the rest.

Amy Goodman was awarded the Alternative Nobel, for “developing an innovative model of truly independent grassroots political journalism that brings to millions of people the alternative voices that are often excluded by the mainstream media.”

In reply, Amy affirmed, “I strongly believe that media can be a force for peace. It is the responsibility of journalists to give voice to those who have been forgotten, forsaken and beaten down by the powerful.  It is the best reason I know to carry our pens, cameras and microphones out into the world. The media should be a sanctuary for dissent. It is our job to go to where the silence is.”



Because I had made a substantial donation to LINK TV during one of Amy Goodman's 2007 pleas, I received an invitation to have lunch with Amy. I seized the opportunity in April 2007 to inform her that her 2004 interview with Vanunu was used as major testimony against him in an historic freedom of speech trial in the ‘democracy’ of Israel.


I also told her about my 2005 and 2006 video interviews with Vanunu that are streaming on my site, now along with Vanunu’s 2008 update.

Amy made notes in her Blackberry and acted interested, but she didn’t follow up with Vanunu until after he was convicted of 14 counts of violating the court order prohibiting him from speaking to any foreigners.

Amy and the hundreds of other foreign media who Vanunu granted free interviews with in 2004 have all been missing in action ever since.


A few weeks after Vanunu’s sentence, I crossed paths with him in occupied east Jerusalem and asked him "Did Amy Goodman ever call you?"

Vanunu replied, "She called me after the six month sentence was announced. I wouldn't talk with her and I am not talking with any media because they never helped me."



After I returned from my last trip to Israel Palestine in June 2009, I left four voice messages for Amy’s producer, Sharif, sent multiple emails and a snail mail to Amy that included a copy of my then most recent letter to President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu, all of his contact info, a few photos of him and pleaded with her to follow up with him regarding how his human rights have been denied by Israel.

On July 6, 2009, I left my final phone message for Sharif and vented my feelings to Amy's receptionist after she informed me that Amy receives so many story ideas they do not have time to reply to them all.

I told her that this story is different, for Amy is culpable in Vanunu's ongoing torture and as she claims to go where the silence is, I requested a statement as to why she has remained silent about Israel’s unjust Justice system.


I still have not received a reply from anyone connected with Democracy NOW!

And Vanunu is still waiting for Freedom NOW!

BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu's Freedom of Speech Trial

International League Section of the Fe´de´ration Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l’Homme, Assoc. Europe´enne pour la De´fense des Droits de l’Homme akkreditiert mit C Status bei UNO, Europarat und UNESCO of Human Rights in the spirit of Carl von Ossietzky

Press Release, October 4th 2010

Carl-von-Ossietzky-Medal for Mordechai Vanunu

Award Ceremony, 11am, 12th December 2010, in Berlin

For over a quarter of a century, Mordechai Vanunu has been engaging in the struggle for total nuclear disarmament, for transparent democracy and for peace among nations with outstanding civil courage and fortitude.

He first became internationally known in 1986, when he released information to a British newspaper about the Negev Nuclear Research Centre operating near Dimona in the Negev desert that Israel had built in the 1950s and 60s. After examining this information, a British nuclear physicist and an American nuclear arms specialist concluded that plutonium produced and processed at this atomic plant would enable Israel to produce between 100 and 200 atomic weapons.

Vanunu had worked as a technician in the atomic plant for nine years. He decided to make the information public because he had been alarmed by the amounts of radioactive plutonium being produced in Israel. He had wanted to to inform the Israeli and the international public, especially as the Israeli leadership had left its own people completely in the dark about its atomic programme, an unacceptable situation in a democratic state.

Even before the information had been published, Vanunu was lured to Rome by a female Mossad agent at the end of September 1986, where he was kidnapped and transported to Ashdod. In a strictly secret judicial proceeding, a military court sentenced him to 18 years imprisonment for high treason and espionage in March 1988.

During his confinement, he has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize several times, and in 1987 he was awarded the Alternative Nobel Prize. More awards were to follow.

On April 21st 2004, Vanunu was released from prison, having served the full term, 11 years of which were spent in the solitary confinement of a small cell.

Yet he was released under strict conditions that show total contempt for universal human rights: Vanunu is, amongst other things, not allowed to leave Israel and is forbidden contact with foreign embassies or journalists. He is obliged to inform the authorities of all his movements.

Despite being confined in Israel, where he has been denied any freedom of movement and communication, Mordechai Vanunu has nevertheless managed to give countless interviews, for which he has been repeatedly imprisoned.

The most recent case was on May 10th of this year, when he was sentenced to three months for giving an interview to a foreign correspondent.

A hearing on Vanunu's illegal confinement in Israel has been scheduled at the Israeli Supreme Court for 9 am on 11th October 2010.

Vanunu's courageous conduct unquestionably recalls Carl von Ossietsky's undaunted resistance against armament and war during the Weimar Republic.

In awarding Mordechai Vanunu, the International League for Human Rights would like to draw international attention to the fact that he is still being held prisoner in Israel, deprived of elementary civil and human rights, although he has already served his prison sentence in full, and regardless of the fact that his information is now a quarter of a century old.

Likewise, 65 years after the first atomic bombs were dropped by the USA on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Vanunu’s reminder of the dangers posed by nuclear weapons of mass destruction, for man and nature, should be strengthened, and his relentless efforts towards their worldwide abolition given continued support.

Internationale Liga fu¨r Menschenrechte Haus der Demokratie und Menschenrechte - Greifswalder Str. 4, 10405 Berlin, Tel. 396 21 22, Fax 396 21 47, E-mail:

Vanunu Mordechai's Press release Oct' 5,2010 for receiving the Carl Von Ossietzky medal 2010

Today Oct. 5 is a historic day in my life and for wistleblowers world wide. On this day in 1986, I fulfilled my mission that I took on myself to inform all the world- not governments nor spies organization- but every human being who can read about Israel’s nuclear weapon arsenal as it was published by the Sunday Times, which put Mordechai Vanunu’s story on its front page under the headline: “Revealed — the secrets of Israel’s nuclear arsenal.”

For this I was sentenced to 18 years prison in Israel, 12 of them in isolation, and after the release 6 more years without freedom of speech and freedom of movements in Israel. I was following the spirit of Ossietztky without even knowing or having read about him. This proves that we, the people, have the same mind, same spirit, same beliefs in human rights and freedom and fight for the rights of the people everywhere. The first step is to give the people the information and let them chose the right direction.

Ossietzky did not survive the brutality of prison. I survived, and I am ready to continue to speak on behalf of all the wistleblowers. Knowledge is the power of every human being.

I hope Israel will now end all my suffering 18 years in prison and 6 more years of restrictions not to travel, so I can travel all over the world.

I want to thank International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) for the courage to give me the Von Ossietztky medal even if I receive it after 24 years. I hope this time I will be free to come to Berlin and speak also on behalf of Ossietztky in the city.

All the best,
Thank You.

              VANUNU MORDECHAI  John Crossman.
 6 YEAR Waiting In East Jerusalem. AUG' 2010 waiting in Tel Aviv-To Be Free,To Leave      


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BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu's Freedom of Speech Trial

Published 10/30/10

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