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article imageWorldwide protests mark 1,000 days in prison for Bradley Manning

By Anne Sewell     Feb 24, 2013 in World
Bradley Manning, accused whistleblower, has been imprisoned without trial for 1,000 days. Protests, rallies, marches and performances were held in in his honor in 70 cities worldwide on February 23.
The protests worldwide come just days prior to Manning's pretrial hearing, where the defense will be seeking to dismiss the charges against him, due to lack of a speedy trial.
The Bradley Manning Support Group sent out the following message:
"The government can still charge as planned, including using the Espionage Act and UCMJ Article 104, alleging Manning indirectly “aided the enemy” simply because he knew Al Qaeda could access WikiLeaks. By the time that [the February 26th] pretrial hearing begins, Manning will have been in jail for over 1,000 days. In response to this historic abuse, supporters around the country and around the world are planning demonstrations, rallies, and marches on February 23. From California, to Florida, to Italy, to Germany, supporters of PFC Manning will make their protests known."
The video above shows the protest held in New York City in the pouring rain, but co-ordinated events were held throughout the US, as well as in the UK (London, Yorkshire and Cardiff), Canada and in several countries across Europe. Even groups in South Korea and Australia got involved “to raise awareness about the young Army private” who allegedly exposed US war crimes in Iraq.
A list of all the venues where protests were held on Saturday can be viewed here.
Manning stands accused of publicly passing classified files to the WikiLeaks organization headed up by Julian Assange, including the Collateral Murder video, clearly showing the killing of unarmed civilians and two Reuters journals in Iraq.
He faces 22 charges which include "aiding the enemy", and there is the possibility that he will be jailed for life, with no chance of parole.
Following the release of the confidential documents, Manning has been detained without trial, including harsh treatment in Quantico solitary confinement which was referred to by his defense counsel as “unlawful pretrial punishment.” Manning did have 112 days cut from any prison sentence due to this unlawful punishment, but in the "jailed for life" scheme of things, this would not make much of a difference.
According to US law, Manning's trial should have taken place within 120 days of his detention. However, 1,000 days have gone by with no resolution to the matter. The pretrial hearing is now scheduled to run from February 26 - March 1. It is during this hearing that the judge will rule of the defense's motion to dismiss charges for ‘unconstitutional’ lack of a speedy trial.
A spokesman for one of the Bradley Manning support groups in the US said, “There has never been a more important time to broadcast our message of support for exposing war crimes, international justice, and people’s right to know what the government does in our name.”
Jeff Paterson of the Bradley Manning Support Network said, "A heroic young man faces life in prison for exposing the truth."
According to the Bradley Manning Support Network the current protests and events are merely a preparation for the much larger action planned during the court martial trial, scheduled to start on June 3, 2013.
Video: Bradley Manning 1,000 day protest - San Diego:
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