Amnesty urges UK action on Bradley Manning


by Sunny Hundal    
8:39 am - February 2nd 2011

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Amnesty International has today called on the British government to help ease the “harsh and punitive” detention conditions of Bradley Manning, the US soldier suspected of leaking information to WikiLeaks.

It has emerged that Manning is of Welsh heritage from his mother’s side.

Under the British Nationality Act of 1981, anyone born outside the UK after 1 January 1983 who has a mother who is a UK citizen by birth is British by descent, according to the Guardian.

Amnesty’s UK director, Kate Allen, sent a statement to the press last night saying:

His Welsh parentage means the UK government should demand his ‘maximum custody’ status does not impair his ability to defend himself.

We would also like to see Foreign Office officials visiting him just as they would any other British person detained overseas and potentially facing trial on very serious charges.

Amnesty are calling on the government to ensure that the army private’s detention conditions adhered to international standards.

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Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Be nice to Bradley Manning because his mum is from Wales; good luck with that one.

International standards should be adhered to whether he’s British or not. That’s why they are (a) international, and (b) standards.

Not convinced arguing he’s British is going to help though given America’s disregard for the rights of non-Americans. Better to appeal to their sense of patriotism for a fellow American who has served his country.

If he’s British he deserves the protection of our government. If he’s not British, our government should protect him by seeking to uphold international legal standards, like, um, they did by resisting “rendition” flights through our airspace, bastards.

4. Chaise Guevara

@ 2

“Not convinced arguing he’s British is going to help though given America’s disregard for the rights of non-Americans”

Agree, but this is more a legalistic excuse to do what’s right in the first place: make sure that Manning is treated fairly. I can see how it might backfire, though.

On the other hand, isn’t there a fairly famous international convention that forbids the US’s treatmean of Manning and political prisoners in general? Starts with a G. Sounds sorta Swiss.

5. Hermeneuticals

He was born and raised in America, living in Wales for 3 years (age 13-16). He’s an American, The British Government doesn’t have sovereign authrority over him.

If a boy was born and raised in Britain to 1 American and 1 British parent, and was charged by the British government with releasing official secrets – would the American government have a say in what happened?


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