Christian Engström, Pirate MEP

30 november 2011

Öppet brev om påstådda Wikileaks-källan Bradley Manning

Postat i: Wikileaks — Christian Engström @ 18:30

Presskonferens i EU-parlamentet om Bradley Manning

I förmiddags var jag med på en presskonferens här i Europaparlamentet om Bradley Manning, soldaten som den amerikanska regeringen pekar ut som den som läckte materialet om krigen i Irak och Afghanistan till Wikileaks.

Tillsammans med ett 60-tal andra EU-parlamentariker har vi skrivit ett öppet brev till den amerikanska administrationen, där vi kräver att FN:s speciella rapportör för tortyr ska få möjlighet att träffa Bradley Manning i enrum. FN har bett om det, men hittills har USA vägrat.

Skälet till att FN:s rapportör för tortyr är intresserad av fallet är att Bradley Manning hölls i isoleringscell under de första 8 månaderna sedan han arresterades.

Totalt har Manning suttit fängslad i 18 månader i väntan på rättegång, men nu ska rättegången äntligen inledas den 16 december.

Läs mer hos Henrik Alexandersson, DN, The Guardian, Wired, Henrik Alexandersson

Presskonferensen om brevet kan ses Youtube.

Det öppna brevet som vi skickat ser ut så här:

Brussels, 30 November, 2011

OPEN LETTER

TO:

U.S. President Barack Obama,
Members of the U.S. Senate
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta
U.S. Secretary of the Army John McHugh
US Army Chief of Staff Raymond T. Odierno
Mr. William Kennard, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union

As Members of the European Parliament, who were elected to represent our constituents throughout Europe, we are writing to express our concerns about alleged human rights violations against Bradley Manning, a young soldier who has been accused of releasing classified information pertaining to possible U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are concerned that the U.S. Army has charged Bradley Manning with “aiding the enemy,” a capital offense that is punishable by death. We have questions about why Mr. Manning has been imprisoned for 17 months without yet having had his day in court. We are troubled by reports that Mr. Manning has been subjected to prolonged solitary confinement and other abusive treatment tantamount to torture. And we are disappointed that the U.S. government has denied the request of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture to meet privately with Mr. Manning in order to conduct an investigation of his treatment by U.S. military authorities.

We call upon the United States government to allow Juan Mendez, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, to conduct a private meeting with Bradley Manning, the accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower. Mr. Mendez has made repeated requests to American officials to meet privately with Mr. Manning in response to evidence that he was subjected to abusive confinement conditions while he was detained at a facility in Quantico, Virginia. Mr. Manning was held in solitary confinement for 23 hours per day during the eight months he was incarcerated at that location. It appears that he was at times forced to sleep and stand at attention without any clothing. His legal counsel has documented additional incidents which indicate the possibility of other rights violations.

Hundreds of U.S. legal scholars have signed an open letter to the Obama administration, arguing that the conditions of confinement endured by Mr. Manning at Quantico may have amounted to torture. Following worldwide calls for an end to the abusive treatment, Manning was moved to a facility in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where his conditions are said to have improved. The U.S. military conducted an internal investigation into the allegations of mistreatment at Quantico. The preliminary results of this investigation found that Mr. Manning was improperly placed on ”prevention of injury” status, against the recommendations of qualified medical personnel. However, these findings were ultimately overturned by a military prison official who was implicated by the report. Therefore, the U.S. military’s internal investigation has been compromised by clear conflicts of interest. This so-called “prevention of injury” status was the justification for a number of extraordinary measures, such as denying Mr. Manning comfortable bedding and not allowing him to exercise.

By preventing U.N. officials from carrying out their duties, the United States government risks undermining support for the work of the United Nations elsewhere, particularly its mandate to investigate allegations of torture and human rights abuses. In order to uphold the rights guaranteed to Bradley Manning under international human rights law and the U.S. Constitution, it is imperative that the United Nations Special Rapporteur be allowed to properly investigate evidence of rights abuses. PFC Manning has a right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. People accused of crimes must not be subjected to any form of punishment before being brought to trial.

Finally, we in the European Union are totally opposed to the death penalty. And we certainly do not understand why an alleged whistleblower is being threatened with the death penalty, or the possibility of life in prison. We also question whether Bradley Manning’s right to due process has been upheld, as he has now spent over 17 months in pre-trial confinement.

Furthermore, Bradley Manning should not be forced to waive his right against self-incrimination in order to speak with anyone who seeks to investigate evidence of abuse in their official capacity.

Consistent with these internationally-recognized standards, as well as the rules governing his mandate, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Mendez must be allowed to conduct an unmonitored meeting with Bradley Manning, without any further delay.

Yours sincerely,

1. Marisa Matias
2. Christian Engström
3. Ana Gomes
4. Marietje Schaake
5. Christofer Fjellner
6. Jan Philipp Albrecht
7. Sonia Alfano
8. Margrete Auken
9. Alexander Alvaro
10. Sandrine Bélier
11. Lothar Bisky
12. Pascal Canfin
13. Françoise Castex
14. Nessa Childers
15. Nikolaos Chountis
16. Daniel Cohn-Bendit
17. Tarja Cronberg
18. Chris Davies
19. Véronique De Keyser
20. Bas Eickhout
21. Cornelia Ernst
22. Jill Evans
23. Göran Färm
24. Ilda Figueiredo
25. Sven Giegold
26. Mikael Gustafsson
27. Thomas Händel
28. Rebecca Harms
29. Anna Hedh
30. Jacky Henin
31. Elie Hoarau
32. Richard Howitt
33. Sophie In’t Veld
34. Yannick Jadot
35. Ska Keller
36. Jürgen Klute
37. Jean Lambert
38. Philippe Lambert
39. Kartika Liotard
40. Sabine Lösing
41. Sarah Ludford
42. Olle Ludvigsson
43. Ulrike Lunacek
44. Miguel-Angel Martinez Martinez
45. Willy Meyer
46. Paul Murphy
47. Miguel Portas
48. Raúl Romeva I Rueda
49. Heide Rühle
50. Judith Sargentini
51. Carl Schlyter
52. Olle Schmidt
53. Helmut Scholz
54. Marc Tarabella
55. Rui Tavares
56. Keith Taylor
57. Emilie Turunen
58. Marita Ulvskog
59. Gianni Vattimo
60. Derek Vaughan
61. Diana Wallis
62. Renate Weber
63. Åsa Westlund
64. Gabriele Zimmer

7 kommentarer

  1. Mycket bra initiativ!

    Ska man tolka detta som att endast runt 10 av de svenska MEParna är kritiska? Illa!

    Kommentar av Mikael Nilsson — 30 november 2011 @ 19:27

  2. Nja det är ju inte säkert att alla visste om detta brev men visst det är lite visset att bara 64 skrev på.

    Vad jag skulle tycka vara väldigt intressant är om det finns några som har tackat nej till att skriva under?
    I så fall upp med en lista med dessa namn och helst med deras anledning (om den är känd) att inte skriva under.
    Och jag är ganska säker på att jag inte är ensam om att vilja veta detta.

    Kommentar av Tommy Karlsson — 1 december 2011 @ 0:50

  3. Bra bra bra!

    Fortsätt så här Christian, ska bli ett nöje att rösta på dig igen!

    Kommentar av Anonym — 1 december 2011 @ 10:37

  4. Mycket bra gjort, CE. Synd bara att enbart 64 ledamöter hade ryggraden och/eller insikten om att skriva under på människorätt och rättssäkerhet.

    Kommentar av Scary Devil Monastery — 2 december 2011 @ 13:17

  5. Tack för det!. Mycket bra jobbat.

    De ledamöterna som inte skrivit på har visat vad det är de prioriterar. :-(

    Kommentar av Dennis Nilsson — 3 december 2011 @ 17:44

  6. Ett varmt tack till dig Christian och alla som skrivit på. Det är en skam för Europa och EU att inte samtliga skrivit på.

    Kommentar av Angela — 4 december 2011 @ 17:48

  7. Jag anser att detta är en fråga för Beatrice Ask och andra länders justitieministrar i västvärlden som anser att de företräder civiliserade stater. Ask bör kontakta sin amerikanske kollega justitieminister Eric Holder och klargöra Sveriges inställning i frågan. Det är en skam för den moderna civiliserade västvärlden att det fortfarande finns länder i väst som inte avskaffat dödsstraffet. Det blir svårt att hävda humanistiska värden och värden som utmärker en demokratisk rättsstat om man bryter mot dem själv.

    Kommentar av Angela — 4 december 2011 @ 18:19


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