Those who join the armed forces, often do so believing that military action will make the world a safer place. But if their experiences of war lead them to change their mind, leaving the military can be difficult and even dangerous.
In 2009, 22-year-old Chelsea Manning was serving as a military analyst in the US army in Iraq. She was working with top-secret information: some of the images and transcripts she was handling appeared to reveal human rights abuses committed by US forces and their allies. In the interests of opening up public debate on the war, and in an attempt to show the world what she’d seen Chelsea leaked around 750,000 confidential files to the website WikiLeaks.
US military authorities claimed that Chelsea had endangered public security by blowing the whistle. In July 2013, a court dealt her one of the harshest sentences in recent US history for passing information to the media: 35 years in prison. Amnesty International believe that Chelsea has been imprisoned simply for doing what she believed was right: trying to highlight “the true cost of war”.
You can listen to an Chelsea speaking to Amnesty’s Michelle Hendley about her experiences in the podcast above.
Peace Hub is highlighting this because we feel it is relevant to our current theme. It should not be inferred that Amnesty International endorses Peace Hub in any way.