Socialist Worker

The heavy price paid by the whistleblower

Mordechai Vanunu was awarded a Lennon Ono Grant for Peace on 7 October this year. This is an extract from his acceptance speech delivered on his behalf by his adoptive parents, Nick and Mary Eoloff.

Issue No. 1928

‘In the 21st century, people all over the world are beginning to acknowledge and appreciate the importance of the whistleblower.

The one who has the courage to take responsibility on behalf of all humanity, the one who has the courage to act on behalf of all humanity—the whistleblower has in mind the safety of life on this earth, the people.

He or she acts to prevent catastrophe by informing the public directly through the mass media—such is the combined power of knowledge and of conscience. In this age of mass communications, information should no longer be secret, and in a democracy it should be open and available to the people.

It is the task of the individual, who later becomes a whistleblower, to be the eyes and ears of the people, even if it will cost him his liberty.

A whistleblower pays a heavy price by putting their freedom at risk for refusing to remain silent by telling the truth.

When a government intentionally keeps the public in the dark about nuclear secrets, it falls on the individual who is prepared and ready to sacrifice their life in order to shed light and let the people know.

In the case of Israel, it fell on me to take the risk of revealing the extent of their nuclear weapons programme.

It was not an easy decision to make but one that I knew I must make. I am very happy that I succeeded, despite the war Israel made, and continues to make, against me.’


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Sat 20 Nov 2004, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1928
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