Assange depicts US whistleblower verdict a win

Assange depicts US whistleblower verdict a win
Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:04:43

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has described US whistleblower Bradley Manning's sentence of 35 years behind bars as a "significant tactical victory" for him, his defense and supporters.

Assange asserted, though, that the case against Manning "is an affront to basic concepts of Western justice."

Manning was sentenced Wednesday for handing the WikiLeaks a massive cache of sensitive government documents detailing the inner workings of America's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Today the well-known whistleblower Bradley Manning has been ordered by a military court in Maryland to spend a minimum of 5.2 years in prison with a 32 year maximum (including time already spent in detention), for revealing information about US government behavior to the public, Assange said in a statement.

Assange added, this hard-won minimum term represents a significant tactical victory for Bradley Manning’s defense, campaign team and supporters. At the start of these proceedings, the United States government had charged Bradley Manning with a capital offence and other charges carrying over 135 years of incarceration. His defense team is now appealing to the US Army Court of Criminal Appeals in relation to this sentence and also for due process violations during the trial.

The WikiLeaks founder noted, while the defense should be proud of their tactical victory, it should be remembered that Manning’s trial and conviction is an affront to basic concepts of Western justice. On Manning’s arrest in May 2010, he was immediately subjected to punitive incarceration by the US government, which was found to be "cruel, inhumane and degrading" by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez, and even found to be unlawful by US military courts.

Manning’s treatment has been intended to send a signal to people of conscience in the US government who might seek to bring wrongdoing to light. This strategy has spectacularly backfired, as recent months have proven. Instead, the Obama administration is demonstrating that there is no place in its system for people of conscience and principle. As a result, there will be a thousand more Bradley Mannings, the statement read.


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