It was good to read that the International Peace Bureau is to award this year’s Sean MacBride Peace Prize to Bradley Manning, the US whistleblower for his courageous actions.
Bradley Manning pleaded guilty to ten out of twenty-two charges of leaking documents:
- more than 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables,
- 400,000 U.S. Army reports about Iraq & 90,000 about Afghanistan,
- material used in the “Collateral Murder” video produced by WikiLeaks,
- videos of the July 12, 2007 Baghdad airstrike and the 2009 Garani airstrike in Afghanistan.
IPB’s Co-President Tomas Magnusson comments:
“This is within the broad meaning of the Nuremberg Principles enunciated at the end of the Second World War.
“When Manning revealed to the world the crimes being committed by the US military he did so as an act of obedience to this high moral duty”.
The press release about the award adds:
“It is well known that war operations, and especially illegal ones, are frequently conducted under the cover of secrecy. To penetrate this wall of secrecy by revealing information that should be accessible to all is an important contribution to the struggle against war, and acts as a challenge to the military system which dominates both the economy and society in today’s world.
“IPB believes that whistleblowers are vital in upholding democracies – especially in the area of defense and security. A heavy sentence for Manning would not only be unjust but would also have very negative effects on the right to freedom of expression which the US claims to uphold”.
Seán MacBride, after active membership of the IRA and becoming Chief of Staff, studied law and founded or participated in many international organisations of the 20th century, including the United Nations, the Council of Europe and Amnesty International