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Vanunu seeks asylum in Norway

The Israeli nuclear scientist Mordechai Vanunu has applied for political asylum in Norway, reported the Swedish paper Dagens Nyheter.

Vanunu has allegedly also sent applications of political asylum to Sweden, Denmark, Ireland and France.

Vanunu has as of yet not heard back from the five countries. The Swedish Consul General Göran Berg confirms that he has sent off an asylum application to the Swedish Migration Board in the Swedish town of Norrköping, but does not want to comment the case beyond this.

According to Dagens Nyheter’s correspondent in Jerusalem, the authorities in Israel will not allow Vanunu to leave the country. He is not allowed to meet with foreigners or give interviews. He is constantly under surveillance when he leaves his temporary residence at St. George cathedral in East Jerusalem.

Deemed as a security risk
Vanunu has stated that he can not understand that he is still considered a security risk.

«I have nothing more to tell, what I knew when I was sent off to prison is outdated now,» Vanunu said to the paper.

He said that he is very bitter towards Israel, and he refuses to have anything to do with Israeli authorities.

«I will not set foot in West-Jerusalem or any other place in Israel, however, I do enjoy the freedom here in Arabian East-Jerusalem,» Vanunu declared. «I wish to get rid of my Israeli citizenship and cut all ties with this country. This is my protest against the lack of democracy here. I have served my time, a sentence that in my opinion was unjust. Now I should be completely free.»

«Here I live under constant surveillance, in constant fear of being arrested, but I can not accept that they are trying to prevent me from speaking freely and living a normal life. That is why I want to start anew in a free country, like for example Sweden.»

Vanunu, 49, was kidnapped by Israeli agents in 1986 and sentenced to 18 years in jail for having revealed nuclear secrets in an interview with the British paper Sunday Times. He was released from jail April 21 of this year.

Vanunu was awarded the so-called alternative Nobel Prize, Right Livelihood Award, in 1987. He was awarded Yoko Ono’s peace prize in the memory of John Lennon few weeks ago, but because of the travel ban, he was not able to attend the actual ceremony at UN’s headquarter in New York.

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