Chelsea Manning case: new online petition calling for clemency launched
Amnesty International has launched a new online petition calling for clemency and the immediate release of Chelsea Manning, the US soldier sentenced in August to 35 years’ imprisonment for leaking classified government material she believed was in the public interest.
The global online petition involves Amnesty supporters gathering signatures for a clemency petition to be submitted by Private Manning’s lawyer early in 2014.
The petition comes after an Amnesty letter last week to the US Major General Jeffrey S Buchanan, who under the USA’s Uniform Code of Military Justice has the power to reduce a sentence, dismiss a guilty finding or order a rehearing.
The letter urges Buchanan to grant clemency to Private Manning, and to commute her sentence to time already served in prison. The letter points out that some of the material leaked by Manning was “of great value” in the public debate on the costs of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The letter also expresses great concern at the “severity” of Manning’s sentence, noting that Manning is being treated more harshly than members of the military convicted of murder, rape and war crimes.
The new initiative over Chelsea Manning is being promoted on social media under the hashtag #FreePrivateManning.