Bradley Manning to Receive 2013 Sean MacBride Peace Prize

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The International Peace Bureau will announce the awarding of its 2013 Sean MacBride Peace Prize to Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, currently on trial and facing a life sentence for releasing classified military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks in order to promote “debates, discussions and reforms” concerning U.S. foreign policy.

The 25-year-old soldier has been nominated three consecutive years  for the Nobel Peace Prize while in pre-trial confinement, nearly a year of which was spent in solitary confinement in conditions a United Nations torture investigator called “cruel, inhuman and degrading.” The IPB, itself a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, believes Manning has “obeyed a higher moral law” in revealing vital information on war crimes.

Presenting the award and answering questions will be Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and 1976 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mairead Maguire, IPB Secretary General Colin Archer, and Bradley Manning Support Network Director Jeff Paterson.

The presentation of this award comes shortly before Judge Col. Denise Lind is expected to make her ruling on Manning’s guilt or innocence.  The defense and prosecution will offer closing arguments for the merits portion of the court martial on Thursday, July 25 at the courthouse at Ft. Meade, MD. Judge Lind is expected to announce her verdict of guilt or innocence sometime between Friday, July 26 and Wednesday, July 31, when the sentencing phase will begin.

Founded in 1892, the International Peace Bureau—headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland—was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1910. It was originally formed as an international federation of national peace groups and now boasts 300 member organizations. Every year since 1992 it has awarded the Sean MacBride Peace Prize, named for IPB’s former President, who was an Irish Statesman, co-founder of Amnesty International, and a Nobel Peace Laureate himself (1974). The prize is awarded to an individual or an organization that has done outstanding work for peace, disarmament, and/or human rights.