This may add to our difficult time relating to the Nuclear armaments issue.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 4, 1998
SUSANNAH YORK, DANIEL ELLSBERG TO ASK CLINTON TO HELP FREE IMPRISONED
WASHINGTON, June 8—British actress and human rights activist SUSANNAH YORK
will call on President Clinton Wednesday (June 10) to press Israel to
release former plutonium technician Mordechai Vanunu, now in his 12th year
in prison for blowing the whistle on Israel’s secret nuclear weapons program.
Appearing with her at 9:15 a.m. NEWS CONFERENCE at MOTT HOUSE, 122
MARYLAND AVE., NE (opposite side entrance to Supreme Court building) will be
strategic analyst DANIEL ELLSBERG, whose 1971 leaking of the Pentagon Papers
helped end the Vietnam War.
Ellsberg, now director of the Manhattan Project II, a group working
to reduce the danger of nuclear war, will cite the recent Indian and
Pakistani nuclear weapons tests in calling for reappraisal of U.S. official
silence on Israeli nuclear weapons.
York and Ellsberg both are active in the international campaign to
free Vanunu, who in 1986 gave information to the London Sunday Times about
Israel’s underground nuclear weapons factory at Dimona, where he worked for
nine years as a technician. Kidnapped and returned to Israel by the Israeli
secret service, he was convicted of treason and espionage and held in
solitary confinement for more than 11 years before being released last March
into the general population of Ashkelon Prison in Israel. Last month he was
denied parole. His sentence has six years to go.
York, who has traveled often to Israel to plead for Vanunu’s
release, will take note of current efforts by Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu and other high-ranking Israeli officials to secure the release of
Jonathan Pollard, a former Pentagon intelligence analyst sentenced in 1987
to life imprisonment without parole for spying for Israel.
Before considering release of Pollard on humanitarian grounds, York
will say, President Clinton should insist that Israel first release Vanunu,
whose mental health had deteriorated and whose release has the backing of
Amnesty International and other human rights groups.
Ellsberg, who has likened Vanunu’s role to his own as a whistle-blower
against government secrecy, praises Vanunu for attempting to open up
Israel’s nuclear policy to public debate at great personal risk. He will
point to a double standard in U.S. policy toward the spread of nuclear
weapons, arguing that the policy is undermined by the practice of invoking
sanctions against Third World nations that attempt to acquire nuclear
weapons while turning a blind eye to the secret nuclear arsenal of our close
Middle East ally.
York—a veteran of stage, motion pictures, and television—is now on a
U.S. theater tour. She will open in Shakespeare’s Hamlet Tuesday night at
the Kennedy Center. Since 1975, Ellsberg has written and lectured widely on
nuclear and geopolitical subjects and participated in the anti-nuclear movement.
Appearing with the two will be SAM DAY of Madison, WI, coordinator
of the U.S. CAMPAIGN TO FREE MORDECHAI VANUNU and former editor of THE
BULLETIN OF THE ATOMIC SCIENTISTS.
THE U.S. CAMPAIGN TO FREE MORDECHAI VANUNU
2206 Fox Avenue, Madison, WI 53711
Contact: Sam Day or Jim Matlack 202-483-3341
Max Obuszewski 410-323-7200 or [log in to unmask]
Rua Marques de Abrantes 136 / 901A
22230-061 Rio de Janeiro
Telefone: 55 21 553 0759 or 55 21 553 2361
FAX : 55 21 205 1754
e-mail: [log in to unmask]