Anti-nuclear weapons activists from around the world gathered at Shikma Prison, along with hundreds of journalists, to see the prisoner who spent two-thirds of his jail time in solitary confinement.
Prison spokesman Ofer Lefler said Vanunu was refusing to provide an address to authorities, threatening to delay his release. But his lawyer, Oded Feller, told that the matter had been resolved and that he would be released on schedule.
Israel has imposed travel restrictions and other constraints on Vanunu, a former technician at Israel’s Dimona reactor, citing concern that he would reveal more classified information.
In 1986, Vanunu leaked details and pictures of Israel’s alleged nuclear weapons program to The Sunday Times of London. Based on his account, experts said at the time that Israel had the world’s sixth-largest stockpile of nuclear weapons. The revelations undercut Israel’s long-standing policy of neither confirming nor denying its nuclear capability.
Vanunu has been embraced as a hero by the anti-nuclear movement. He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and was legally adopted by an American couple who mistakenly thought it would give him U.S. citizenship.