News from Jerusalem is that Israeli whistleblower, Mordechai Vanunu, had his appeal heard today against a six month sentence that had been handed down for speaking to foreign journalists. Mordechai, who spent nearly twelve years in solitary and six more years in prison for revealing Israel's nuclear secrets was "released" over 4 years ago on 20 April 2004 from Ashkelon prison in Israel.
Immediately, the harshest of sanctions were placed on him. Among these, he was forbidden to approach the immediate vicinity of Israel's borders or foreign embassies,forbidden to leave Israel, forbidden to speak to foreigners or foreign journalists, and he had to report any change of residence to the authorities. Over these past four years he has been arrested several times, had his living quarters raided, had property confiscated, was held overnight and by day for questioning, prevented physically from attending Christmas night Mass in Bethlehem, and harassed generally.
Today's court appearance is one of many dozens of such appearances. Today, it appears that the three judges showed a certain amount of openness and sympathy to the lawyers who robustly criticised the inhuman conditions placed on Vanunu's freedom. However, it will be their judgement in September that will be of import, rather than their apparent attitude in the court.
If they do not grant his appeal, Mordechai faces another six months in prison on top of all that he has suffered to date.
He has another appeal lodged in the Supreme Court against the sanctions that have been renewed by Israel year after year since his release. This case will not be heard for a month or two.