CHELSEA MANNING, USA
US Army Private Chelsea Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison on 21 August 2013, after leaking classified US government material to the website Wikileaks. Some of the documents pointed to potential human rights violations and breaches of humanitarian law by US troops abroad, as well as by Afghan and Iraqi forces operating alongside the US army, and the CIA.
Chelsea says she was trying to spark a meaningful debate on the costs of war and raise awareness of US military conduct in Iraq and Afghanistan. But she wasn’t allowed as part of her defence to say that she was acting in the public interest. What’s more, further unnecessary charges were brought against her, including ‘aiding the enemy’. Such charges appeared to be an attempt to put off future whistleblowers seeking to expose government wrongdoing.
While awaiting trial, Chelsea was detained for three years, and spent eleven months in conditions described by a UN torture expert as ‘cruel and inhumane’. These included being confined for 23 hours a day to a small cell with no window to the outside.
Write to the President of the USA
Urge him to: ensure Chelsea Manning is released immediately; ensure any serious abuses she exposed are promptly and effectively investigated; and protect whistleblowers who reveal information the public has a right to know.
Write to: President Barack Obama,
The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC 20500, USA
Web form: whitehouse.gov/contact
Twitter: @BarackObama @WhiteHouse
Write a letter of support to Chelsea
Chelsea can receive mail and it’s her birthday on 17 December if you’d like to send a card. (Photos can’t be larger than 12.7cm x 17.78cm, and letters should be no more than six pages.)
Send it to: Chelsea E Manning 89289, 1400 North Warehouse Road,
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas 66027-2304, USA
Index: AMR 51/044/2014