Oklahoma native Manning has been in solitary confinement for seven months, pre-trial, in violation of UCMJ – the Uniform Code of Military Justice
OKLAHOMA CITY - On Friday, January 14, from Noon to 1 pm, supporters of Bradley Manning will hold a rally at the corner of N. 23rd St. and Broadway. The purpose of the event is to bring attention to the horrific conditions in which the Army private from Oklahoma is being held as he awaits trial on charges that he leaked classified documents to Wikileaks.org.
The rally is sponsored by the Oklahoma Center for Conscience, the Peace House, and a group of OU students who publish an independent newspaper called The Undercurrent. Brandon Wade, an event organizer, said that participants will be gathering “to show our support for an Oklahoma native being held under such terrible conditions that the U.N.'s top official on torture is launching an investigation.”
“Article 13 in the Uniform Code of Military Justice specifically states that “punishment [is] prohibited before trial” and we are demanding that the Army follow its own rules in this case,” Wade added.
According to the Bradley Manning Support Network, Manning is charged so far with three counts of unlawfully transferring confidential material to a non-secure computer, i.e. leaking state secrets. Manning faces up to 52 years if convicted of these crimes and it is likely that he will be charged with additional offenses.
OCC has previously organized two rallies in support of Manning, including one at the state Capitol, at which excerpts of the so-called “Collateral Murder” video were shown. The video was one of the first items among the documents Manning is charged with leaking, that was released by Wikileaks. It shows U.S. servicemembers in an air-to-ground attack gunning down individuals who turned out to be unarmed civilians and journalists on a street in Baghdad in July, 2007.
Local supporters have also joined a global campaign to send letters and cards to Manning as he sits in solitary confinement at Quantico, VA. The letter-writing campaign is a project of Courage to Resist.
Other support activities in Oklahoma include The Undercurrent’s educational campaign at OU including distribution of t-shirts printed with photos from “Collateral Damage” and a call to “Free Bradley.”
“We will continue to follow Bradley Manning’s imprisonment and trial, and hold events in response as we see necessary,” said Rena Guay, OCC’s Executive Director. Our group’s mission is to raise awareness regarding the relationship between war and matters of conscience and we see Bradley as a hero in exposing war crimes, if in fact he did what he has been charged with. We would like to see the perpetrators of those crimes held to the same account as Bradley is being held in allegedly revealing them.”
UCMJ Article 13 - PUNISHMENT PROHIBITED BEFORE TRIAL: “No person, while being held for trial, may be subjected to punishment or penalty other than arrest or confinement upon the charges pending against him, nor shall the arrest or confinement imposed upon him be any more rigorous than the circumstances required to insure his presence, but he may be subjected to minor punishment during that period for infractions of discipline.”