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Courage Trustees on Chelsea Manning’s commutation

Reacting to the news that President Obama commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, Courage Trustee Vivienne Westwood said:

Let’s dance and sing and scream and shout, Chelsea Manning is let out!

Courage Trustee John Pilger said:

Barack Obama, no doubt in the spirit of cynicism and opportunism that has characterised his presidency, has released Chelsea Manning – whom he declared guilty even before Chelsea’s travesty of a trial was over. This is wonderful news and justice for Chelsea, a hero of our times. Now Julian Assange, whose struggle for justice is also a universal struggle, should be set free unconditionally.

Courage Trustee Renata Avila said:

When Chelsea Manning was arrested, I tried to activate the Interamerican System of Human Rights for her protection. The response was a timid statement, only in December 2010, and only when her revelations were under unprecedented extrajudicial censorship. The regional human rights protections failed. Likewise, neither Amnesty International nor Human Rights Watch would advocate for her and the other people subject to political persecution and a secret grand jury for years.

This is a lesson for the time to come. We need expedite, efficient, resourceful and above all, free and fearless mechanisms to protect whistleblowers. They are risking their entire life and future. As Chelsea, they risk their lives. They can´t wait. Let´s all work in solidarity for all cases against journalists and whistleblowers to be immediately shut down.

Courage Trustee Susan Benn said:

Chelsea Manning certainly deserves her freedom after facing inhumane cruel treatment in a male prison for almost seven years, all condoned by Obama. This President has issued an unprecedented number of prosecutions of whistleblowers during his time in the White House as well as an extensive ongoing Grand Jury investigation, held in secret, of the activities of Julian Assange. This investigation should now be closed.