NUJ PR & Communications branch
c/o NUJ HQ 72 Acton Street, London, WC1X 9NB.
PR & Communications Branch Organiser:
Fiona Swarbrick 0207 843 3729
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Venue NUJ HQ Headland House, 72 Acton Street, London, WC1 9 NB. The building is fully accessible. The nearest tube/station is King's Cross/St Pancras International.
Meetings 2019: 2nd Wednesday in the month 6.30pm. Next meetings Wednesday 12 June and 10 July (branch social gathering) NUJ HQ, Headland House, 72 Acton Street, Kings Cross, London WC1.
From the NEC up
Barry White London NEC region Tue, 12 Jan, 2010
No happy new year for Mordechai
Mordechai Vanunu, an honorary member of the NUJ, who served 18 years in prison for revealing Israelís secret nuclear programme, has been placed under house arrest pending criminal charges for allegedly breaching the terms of his 2004 release, which includes a ban on contacts with foreigners.
In 1986 Vanunu told his story to the Sunday Times and was tricked into travelling to Italy by a Mossad agent. There he was drugged and bundled off to Israel where he was charged with espionage and treason and found guilty. During his time in prison, much of it in solidarity, his cause was taken up the NUJ and Amnesty International (amongst many) and I was privileged to be on the delegation of supporters who welcomed him on his release from Ashkelon Prison in 2004.
Since then he has been harassed by the Israeli authorities, who will not let him leave the country. Mordechai remains unbowed, which the authorities hate and each time they arrest him they score another own goal by drawing attention to the fact that the country has nuclear weapons, a fact not lost on other powers in the region.
Meantime the London Socialist Film Co-Op is showing the Jenny Morganís film ĎWaiting for Mordechaií on Sunday 14 February from 11.00am at the Renoir Cinema in Brunswick Square, Camden (nearest Tube Russell Square). Itís set a few days before his release as supporters from around the world gather to welcome him. The post-film discussion will be led by Jeremy Corbyn MP and Jenny Morgan and will I am sure, consider ways of putting further pressure on the British government to secure his real freedom.
I understand that Jeremy Corbyn is proposing an early day motion in the Commons to mobilise support and put pressure on the foreign office to raise the issue with the Israeli government. In addition I will take a motion to the next meeting of the NUJ policy committee on 4 February reaffirming our support for Mordechai and calling for the dropping of all charges and restrictions against him and for his right to leave Israel (which he wishes to do). Iíll also ask that Amnesty International renew their efforts on Mordechaiís behalf (if they have not already done so).
Additional reading Duncan Campbell ĎA duty to speak upí Guardian 2 January 2010. Go to: http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/duncancampbell