Nuclear whistleblower walks free


Hundreds of supporters from around the world, many of them wearing symbolic gags, were outside the prison gates in the Israeli town of Ashkelon to greet Vanunu, calling him a “peace hero”.

British actor Susannah York, a longtime supporter who was in the welcoming crowd, described Vanunu’s prison term as “a gross violation of human rights”.

But there were equal numbers of demonstrators who labelled him a traitor. Vanunu, who drove taxis in Australia in 1985 and 1986, spent 12 years of his sentence in solitary confinement.

Waving V-for-victory gestures as he walked through the gates of Ashkelon’s Shikma prison, 49-year-old Vanunu stood defiantly before a bank of television cameras and proclaimed: “I am proud and happy to do what I did.”