Last week we brought you an exciting update about our Taking a Stand theme, from Conscience – The Peace Tax Bill could get a second reading in parliament: find out how you can get involved.
We have further good news about one of the people we highlighted who have taken a stand for what they believe in:
As one of his final acts as US president, Barak Obama commuted the majority of Chelsea Manning’s sentence.
Chelsea was an intelligence officer in the US military, who became a consecientious objector after 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. Hear Chelsea’s story in her own words.
In July 2013, a court dealt Chelsea one of the harshest sentences in recent US history for passing information to the media: 35 years in prison. After campaigning by many people across the world, she will now be released on 17 May this year instead of in 2045.
Amnesty International gave this message to those who have campaigned for Chelsea’s release:
This is a huge piece of good news and we could not be happier for Chelsea.
This win is a powerful reflection of this movement. Together, we have campaigned tirelessly for Chelsea’s freedom these last hard years.
When she suffered through appalling conditions of prolonged solitary confinement – you were there.
When she felt so hopeless she tried to take her own life, twice – you were there.