Berkeley City Council to Weigh Resolution on Bradley Manning’s Deprivation of Human Rights
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Berkeley City Council to weigh resolution on Bradley Manning’s deprivation of human rights in pre-trial confinement
Manning still receiving cruel and unusual punishment
By the Bradley Manning Support Network
BERKELEY, California, 11 February 2011 — On Tuesday, February 15th, the Berkeley City Council will vote on a resolution to call “for the immediate end to the cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of PFC Bradley Manning during his military confinement.” If passed, copies of the resolution will be sent to the Marine brig commander at Quantico, Virginia, where Bradley Manning is being held in maximum security solitary confinement, to the Quantico Base Commander, to Secretary of the Army John McHugh, Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, California Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein and President Barack Obama.
The resolution notes that Manning “is made to sleep in his boxer shorts with no pillow and no sheets and a heavy blanket so rough that he must turn carefully beneath it to avoid rug burn.” It goes on to describe his lack of freedom to exercise in his cell, his lack of seeing the outdoors, the many things he has been deprived of and the disturbances to his ability to sleep. The resolution is referenced with sources documenting Manning’s pre-trial confinement conditions and points out that Bradley Manning has not been convicted of anything.
The resolution was written by Berkeley Peace and Justice Commissioner Bob Meola and passed by the Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission on January 10th. In December, the Berkeley City Council tabled a resolution that called for freeing Manning and proclaiming him to be a hero if he did what he is accused of doing — releasing the “Collateral Murder” video and other documents to WikiLeaks. That resolution is still on the table.
Commissioner Meola said: “This is another opportunity for Berkeley to set an example by doing the right thing — standing up for the rights of Bradley Manning to be treated in a just and humane way. Later, Berkeley will hopefully call for his freedom and proclaim him an American hero and patriot if he leaked the ‘Collateral Murder’ video, the Afghan War Diary or the Iraq War Logs. For now, Berkeley needs to voice its outrage at the mistreatment Bradley Manning continues to suffer. Berkeley can be a guide for other cities to follow with similar resolutions to end the un-American treatment of this soldier by the U.S. government.”
Psychologists for Social Responsibility, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and thousands of Bradley Manning supporters have expressed alarm at the violation of Manning’s constitutional and human rights. A UN committee is reported to be investigating Manning’s confinement conditions. Last week, Congressman Dennis Kucinich wrote two letters to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates expressing his concern about Manning’s situation and requesting an opportunity to meet with Manning.