Today will mark Private First Class (PFC) Bradley Manning’s 1000th day in jail. Activists around the world plan to use this day for demonstrations and marches in order to draw attention to the case.
Manning was arrested on May 29, 2010 and is accused of exposing war crimes and allegedly passing on secret military intelligence to the famous whistle-blower site WikiLeaks. Bradley Manning faces 22 charges, and if convicted will serve a lifelong sentence in prison.
According to Manning’s defence lawyer David Coombs, Manning’s statutory and constitutional speedy trial rights have been violated according to the 5th Amendment (protection against abuse of government authority in a legal procedure), 6th Amendment (Right to Speedy Trial, which established a prosecutorial deadline of 30 days for setting the trial date), Rule 707 of the Manual for Courts-Martial (which prescribes a maximum of 120 days of detention before trial) and Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 10 (where after a person shall not ordinarily be placed in confinement and immediate steps should be taken to try the accused).
Coombs argues that prosecutors were supposed to arraign Manning within 120 days but it took well over 600, additionally coming along with needless delay and lack of diligence throughout the proceedings. Manning spent more than eight times longer in prison without a trial than U.S. law allows.
Julian Assange talking about Bradley Manning in 2012 on CNN
According to Nathan Fuller from the Bradley Manning Support Network, “Manning has been denied his right to a speedy trial. The military has delayed his case for nearly three years now. Prosecutors claim that the scope of documents in this case is extending its length, but defence lawyer David Coombs has shown them to have been substantially inactive or to have dragged their feet throughout the case.”
Bradley Manning’s initial day of trial has been postponed four times and the next scheduled date is June 3, 2013. The government can charge Manning using the Espionage Act and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 104, alleging Manning of indirectly aiding the enemy, as he was aware that WikiLeaks is accessible to Al Qaeda.
“Not only is Bradley Manning getting an unfair trial, in which the military is allowed to blatantly disregard his constitutional and fundamental right to a speedy trial, but he shouldn’t be prosecuted in the first place. Manning exposed war crimes, corruption, and abuse, and he’s facing life in jail. The criminals he exposed, however, continue to walk free. The military is denying Manning his rights in order to make an example out of him, and the message is clear: anyone who blows the whistle on or otherwise impedes the brutal forces of empire will be treated the same, or worse”, Nathan Fuller adds.
The case of Manning developed into one of the most important military justice cases in history and many supporters of Manning see it as an example of the decay in rule of U.S. law.
More than 60 events and protests are scheduled around the world in order to increase awareness.
Below you can find more information on the location and times of demonstrations:
Timeline of events regarding Manning’s arrest:
For further information on Bradley Manning’s case visit the Bradley Manning Support Network: http://www.bradleymanning.org/