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UK to Pressure US on Treatment of British Citizen Bradley Manning

In a debate last night in the United Kingdom’s House of Commons, British Foreign Office minister Henry Bellingham said that the UK Government will renew its pressure on the US State Department concerning the abuse of PFC. Bradley Manning. Bellingham also confirmed that Bradley Manning can be considered a British citizen.

After engaging with Ann Clwyd MP, who represents part of Wales where Manning’s mother still lives and where Manning resided for a time in his teens, Bellingham revealed that in late March, the UK Government contacted the United States about Manning’s treatment. Bellingham promised to again contact the State Department about the harsh conditions in which Manning is being held.

A total of 37 Members of Parliament had contacted the British Foreign Office protesting Manning’s treatment. Their position was strengthened last night by Bellingham confirming that Manning, whose mother is a British citizen, is indeed a British citizen by birth. While Manning is not claiming British citizenship and does not hold a British passport, the UK Government’s acknowledgement of his birthright citizenship may provide additional assistance and possibly leverage for his family.

Clywd spoke passionately against the mistreatment of Bradley Manning. She explained that her interest in Bradley was not driven by his citizenship, but because his mistreatment by his own country would send a negative message to the rest of the world:

I am not raising Bradley Manning’s case because he is a British national but because I believe his treatment is cruel and unnecessary and that we should say so. I am also chair of the all-party group on human rights and so I often raise human rights cases from around the world. They might be in Burma, Chechnya, East Timor, China, or, sadly, too many other places besides. I do not raise them because they involve British citizens, but because they involve human rights abuses or wrongdoing and because I am in politics because I want to do something to try to stop those things happening.

I want the British Government to raise Bradley Manning’s treatment with the US Administration because his treatment is cruel and unnecessary and we should be saying so. We cannot deny, however, that Bradley’s connection to the UK adds an additional dimension.

Back in the US, the Bradley Manning Support Network welcomed the news, and called on US legislators to speak out similarly:

“We welcome the support of the MPs, who join Amnesty International and activists worldwide in urging the U.S. to end this inhumane pretrial punishment,” said Jeff Paterson, steering committee member of the Bradley Manning Support Network and project director of Courage to Resist. “Thirty-seven British parliamentarians have shown their commitment to justice and a fair trial,” said steering committee member Mike Gogulski. “We hope to see twice as many American legislators respond with a similar motion.”

Congressmen Dennis Kucinich, Earl Blumenauer, and John Conyers have already stood up for Bradley Manning. But many more are needed.

The video up top is the entirety of the exchange between Clywd and Bellingham. You can view the entire transcript here.

More information available from UK Friends of Bradley Manning.

CommunityFDL Action

UK to Pressure US on Treatment of British Citizen Bradley Manning

In a debate last night in the United Kingdom’s House of Commons, British Foreign Office minister Henry Bellingham said that the UK Government will renew its pressure on the US State Department concerning the abuse of PFC. Bradley Manning. Bellingham also confirmed that Bradley Manning can be considered a British citizen.

After engaging with Ann Clwyd MP, who represents part of Wales where Manning’s mother still lives and where Manning resided for a time in his teens, Bellingham revealed that in late March, the UK Government contacted the United States about Manning’s treatment. Bellingham promised to again contact the State Department about the harsh conditions in which Manning is being held.

A total of 37 Members of Parliament had contacted the British Foreign Office protesting Manning’s treatment. Their position was strengthened last night by Bellingham confirming that Manning, whose mother is a British citizen, is indeed a British citizen by birth. While Manning is not claiming British citizenship and does not hold a British passport, the UK Government’s acknowledgement of his birthright citizenship may provide additional assistance and possibly leverage for his family.

Clywd spoke passionately against the mistreatment of Bradley Manning. She explained that her interest in Bradley was not driven by his citizenship, but because his mistreatment by his own country would send a negative message to the rest of the world:

I am not raising Bradley Manning’s case because he is a British national but because I believe his treatment is cruel and unnecessary and that we should say so. I am also chair of the all-party group on human rights and so I often raise human rights cases from around the world. They might be in Burma, Chechnya, East Timor, China, or, sadly, too many other places besides. I do not raise them because they involve British citizens, but because they involve human rights abuses or wrongdoing and because I am in politics because I want to do something to try to stop those things happening.

I want the British Government to raise Bradley Manning’s treatment with the US Administration because his treatment is cruel and unnecessary and we should be saying so. We cannot deny, however, that Bradley’s connection to the UK adds an additional dimension.

Back in the US, the Bradley Manning Support Network welcomed the news, and called on US legislators to speak out similarly:

“We welcome the support of the MPs, who join Amnesty International and activists worldwide in urging the U.S. to end this inhumane pretrial punishment,” said Jeff Paterson, steering committee member of the Bradley Manning Support Network and project director of Courage to Resist. “Thirty-seven British parliamentarians have shown their commitment to justice and a fair trial,” said steering committee member Mike Gogulski. “We hope to see twice as many American legislators respond with a similar motion.”

Congressmen Dennis Kucinich, Earl Blumenauer, and John Conyers have already stood up for Bradley Manning. But many more are needed.

The video up top is the entirety of the exchange between Clywd and Bellingham. You can view the entire transcript here.

More information available from UK Friends of Bradley Manning.

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Michael Whitney

Michael Whitney

My name is Michael Whitney. I'm a progressive online organizer working with FDL Action. Rush Limbaugh called me "clueless" once. He went into rehab two days later.