At least a few are but where are the major political and media elites? Silence:
British diplomats will express with officials in Washington for a second time MPs’ concerns about the treatment of a US soldier charged with leaking thousands of sensitive cables to WikiLeaks, the government has confirmed.
Foreign Office minister Henry Bellingham said staff at the British embassy in Washington would discuss Bradley Manning‘s detention with the US state department.
Bellingham made the promise after Labour MP Ann Clwyd raised the matter in parliament on Monday night.
Clwyd said Manning, who is charged with downloading 250,000 sensitive cables and passing them to WikiLeaks, had been stripped at night and held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day.
His treatment at the Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Virginia made it more difficult for the US and Britain to campaign against human rights abuses in other countries, she said.
Clwyd, chair of the all-party parliamentary group on human rights, said that the UK’s credibility was at risk in “places where human rights are not nearly so well observed.”
She called on the government to offer practical support to the British relatives of Manning.
“I do not want us to get drawn into a discussion of the rights and wrongs of the WikiLeaks revelations. I would like us now to concentrate on the current conditions of detention for Bradley Manning,” Clwyd said at the adjournment debate speech.
“Manning’s case is important because of the message it sends out to the rest of the world about what kind of treatment the United States thinks is acceptable for people in detention. And, for us, it is important what we say – or what we don’t say.
“That matters in places where human rights are not nearly so well observed. People will pay attention in China and in Russia – and in Libya, where we want to be on the side of those fighting for freedom from state repression.