Mordechai Vanunu (Hebrew: מרדכי ואנונו; born 14 October 1954), also known as John Crossman, is an Israeli former nuclear technician and peace activist who, citing his opposition to weapons of mass destruction, revealed details of Israel's nuclear weapons program to the British press in 1986. He was subsequently lured to Italy by the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, where he was drugged and abducted. He was secretly transported to Israel and ultimately convicted in a trial that was held behind closed doors.
Vanunu spent 18 years in prison, including more than 11 in solitary confinement, though apparently not "prescribed" by the Court, and further subject to broad array of restrictions on his speech and movement. Released from prison in 2004, he was arrested several times for violations of his parole terms, giving interviews to foreign journalists and attempting to leave Israel. He claims having suffered "cruel and barbaric treatment" at the hands of prison authorities, and suggests that these would have been different if he had not converted to Christianity.
In 2007, Vanunu was sentenced to six months in prison for violating terms of his parole. The sentence was considered unusual even by the prosecution who expected a suspended sentence. Yet in May 2010, Vanunu was arrested again and sentenced to three months in jail on a charge that he met foreigners in violation of conditions of his 2004 release from jail. In response, Amnesty International issued a press release on 2 July 2007, stating that "The organisation considers Mordechai Vanunu to be a prisoner of conscience and calls for his immediate and unconditional release."
Vanunu has been characterized internationally as a whistleblower and by Israel as a traitor. Daniel Ellsberg has referred to him as "the preeminent hero of the nuclear era". In 1987, he was awarded the Right Livelihood Award for "his courage and self-sacrifice in revealing the extent of Israel's nuclear weapons programme."