Council of Europe condemns U.S. treatment of PFC Manning
European Human Rights Watchdog Blasts “Cult of Secrecy”
September 7, 2011. Bradley Manning Support Network.
STRASBOURG, France – The Council of Europe issued a draft resolution today condemning a “cult of secrecy” which the human rights organization says has allowed Western security and intelligence services to routinize the concealment of violent crimes and other rights abuses.
The Council’s Rapporteur, Dick Marty, stressed the “fundamental role” of whistleblowers like PFC Bradley Manning in holding governments accountable for their illegal and unjust behavior.
“Bradley Manning acted as a whistleblower and should be treated as such,” the report concluded. “We therefore join Amnesty International in expressing our worries as to the treatment he receives.”
The Bradley Manning Support Network, which collects funds to cover PFC Manning’s legal defense costs and conducts public education and outreach on his behalf, welcomed today’s announcement.
“We welcome the support of the Council of Europe in condemning the abuse of whistleblowers who seek nothing more than to right the wrongs that Western governments refuse to acknowledge,” said Jeff Paterson, co-founder of the Bradley Manning Support Network. “The Council’s report documents numerous incidents where revelations attributed to Bradley Manning have made a critical difference for those seeking justice.”
The draft report released today by the Council of Europe offered a number of recommendations for creating effective oversight mechanisms by representative bodies to hold security and intelligence services accountable to the public. It noted however that, given the current “deficit of transparency,” the public has no choice but to rely on whistleblowers to hold government agencies accountable for abusive behavior.
PFC Bradley Manning is a US Army intelligence analyst who is accused of revealing illegal and unjust foreign policies that have been concealed by the US government. He has been held in confinement without trial for over 15 months. His legal team expects pretrial hearings to begin as early as next month.
BBC,”Europe’s human rights watchdog has called for greater scrutiny of secret services and support for whistleblowers”
Council of Europe, Draft Resolution, “Abuse of state secrecy and national security: obstacles to parliamentary and judicial scrutiny of human rights violations” http://www.assembly.coe.int/CommitteeDocs/2011/State%20secrecy_MartyE.pdf