The International Peace Bureau calls for the immediate release of Chelsea Manning who has been imprisoned for refusing to testify to a grand jury in the investigation into Wikileaks.Chelsea was found guilty in 2013 of charges including espionage for leaking secret files that informed the public about the illegal and immoral activities of the U.S. and other governments to Wikileaks. However, her sentence was later commuted and she was released from prison. In the past, President Donald Trump called Manning an “ungrateful traitor” who “should never have been released from prison” and now it seems the US government is keen to get her behind bars once more.
The more than 700,000 confidential documents, videos and diplomatic cables that were passed on to Wikileak journalists have revolutionised the way that government military and surveillance actions have been viewed and in 2013 the International Peace Bureau presented its annual award – the Sean MacBride Peace Prize – to Chelsea Manning in recognition of the courage needed to make this information publicly available in the name of transparency and press freedom.
The disclosures demonstrate the urgent need to remove the dominance of military thinking and the way it is implicit in aggressive alliances such as NATO. We urgently need to strengthen openness, freedom of the press and the democratic process and enable the UN to focus on diplomacy, international law and intercultural cooperation to achieve environmental and human security.
IPB believes that whistle-blowers and the right to speak out freely are essential for securing a peaceful and just world. Free Chelsea Manning now.
Lisa Clark, Reiner Braun & Dave Webb
Presidents and Vice President of the International Peace Bureau
Florence, Berlin and Leeds, 11th of March 2019