Press release

Bradley Manning: Victim of state oppression

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ARTICLE 19

30 Jul 2013

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Dr Agnes Callamard, ARTICLE Executive Director, commented:

"Bradley Manning may be their thief or spy. But for many human rights activists and organisations worldwide, he is a victim of state oppression and a misguided national security doctrine.

Manning's conviction on 19 charges sets a terrible precedent against anyone who shines a light on serious human rights violations and war crimes. Instead of properly and impartially investigating such wrongdoing, the US government has imprisoned the messenger.   

With the US getting away with this injustice, potential whistleblowers will remain silent, and other governments will feel able to crackdown on anybody who raises similar concerns about serious human rights violations anywhere.

Protecting whistleblowers that hold governments and institutions to account is central to protecting the right to freedom of expression under both the First Amendment of the US Constitution and under international law. Sadly in Bradley Manning's case, this military court has decided to ignore such guarantees and do away with justice. 

President Obama should give Bradley Manning a full presidential pardon. If he does not, how will the US government hold its head high and tell other governments that they should protect freedom of information and free speech."

For more information please contact the press team on +44 7837 833 893