American soldier, private Bradley Manning, who was charged with releasing classified information to WikiLeaks, including the now famous Collateral Murder video
, was sentenced on 21 August 2013 to 35 years in prison for whistle blowing on war crimes and government corruption. The sentence is seen as a blow to whistle-blowers at a time when authorities all over the world are cracking down on those seeking greater transparency and accountability.
Lawyers for the soldier held a press conference after his sentencing where a statement
from Manning was read. In it he says:
As the late Howard Zinn once said, "There is not a flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people."
If you deny my request for a pardon, I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society.
Meanwhile activists have vowed to continue to fight for Manning's release.
Amnesty International’s Senior Director of International Law, Widney Brown, said
, “Bradley Manning should be shown clemency in recognition of his motives for acting as he did, the treatment he endured in his early pre-trial detention, and the due process shortcomings during his trial."
The Bradley Mannning Support Network
launched the "Pardon Bradley Manning Campaign"
on 21 August 2013.
Amnesty International and the Bradley Manning Support Network have launched a joint petition
calling on President Obama to pardon Manning.
The video above was released as part of their effort.
: You might also be interested in "A Concern for My Country: Manning to Seek Obama Pardon"
from Common Dreams and "Bradley Manning Sentenced to 35 Years"
from The Real News Network. Julian Assange of WikiLeaks also released a statement after Bradley Manning's sentencing. Read it on the WikiLeaks website.
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