This evening the US military announced that Bradley Manning is to face 22 additional charges, including one of “aiding the enemy” in contravention of Article 104 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). This particular charge is a capital offence and although US prosecutors have said they “will not recommend” that Bradley Manning face the death penalty, it is the presiding military judge who actually gets to make that call. Capital punishment is therefore a real possibility.
Bradley Manning is a dual UK/US citizen facing prosecution in the United States. The UK has, to date, conspicuously failed to offer Bradley Manning its consular assistance – which would involve taking an official interest in the conditions in which he has been held for the past 10 months, conditions that are serious enough to have triggered the involvement of Amnesty and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture.
Now that there is a capital charge, the British Government has the “special humanitarian reason” it requires in order to make formal representations to the United States and it should do so without any further delay. Bradley Manning is entitled to receive our consular support and this is now long overdue.
Please ask your MP to make sure the Foreign and Commonwealth Office fulfils its obligations towards Bradley. You can find your local MP’s contact details at theyworkforyou.com
If you have already written to your MP, it is definitely worth following up with them now – the fact that the death penalty is now a real possibility really does change things. As ever, please do let us know when you receive a response.