Peace prize nominee Bradley Manning now 500 days in confinement
October 7, 2011. By the Bradley Manning Support Network.
This year’s nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize are bound together by a common drive to nonviolently reassert democracy in the face of authoritarian abuses of power.
Alongside those who have fought against the unjust accumulation of financial and political power, PFC Bradley Manning is alleged to be part of a movement to dislodge an informational blockade that enriches the interests of the few at the expense of our democracy.
Citizens cannot make truly informed decisions when the actions of government are routinely concealed from the public that they have sworn to serve. Government officials must be held accountable if they have withheld information from the public so as to hide evidence of wrongdoing.
Tonight, on the eve of PFC Manning’s 500th day in pre-trial confinement, we do not forget that all people have a right to due process, free from cruel and unusual punishment. The Obama administration must stop obstructing the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez, from conducting an un-monitored meeting with PFC Manning.
Using the information PFC Bradley Manning allegedly revealed, media outlets have published thousands of stories, detailing countless attempts by governments around the world — including our own — to illegally conceal evidence of human rights abuses. According to the President, “employees with the courage to report wrongdoing are a government’s best defense against waste, fraud and abuse.” It appears that PFC Manning acted on his conscience, at great personal risk, to answer the President’s call.
We expect any President to obey the Constitutional freedoms that we all share. No one should be silenced for having the courage to speak or act against wrongdoing. The administration’s message to us is clear: We are all Bradley Manning.