Julian Assange has some words to say about Bradley Manning‘s sentencing. The 25-year-old Army private was convicted of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to Wikileaks and, as a result, was sentenced to 35 years in prison. Assange says that Manning’s defense team is going to appeal the sentence, and shares what he views is the only possible positive resolution to the case.
“The only just outcome in Mr Manning’s case is his unconditional release, compensation for the unlawful treatment he has undergone, and a serious commitment to investigating the wrongdoing his alleged disclosures have brought to light,” Assange says in a statement.
The WikiLeaks founder continues, “Mr Manning’s treatment has been intended to send a signal to people of conscience in the US government who might seek to bring wrongdoing to light. This strategy has spectacularly backfired, as recent months have proven. Instead, the Obama administration is demonstrating that there is no place in its system for people of conscience and principle. As a result, there will be a thousand more Bradley Mannings.”
Manning was found guilty of 20 of the 22 charges against him. While he is said to be guilty of espionage, fraud and theft, he wasn’t found guilty of aiding the enemy, which would have resulted in life in prison. Manning has a credit against his sentence because of the 1,182 days he served during pre-trial confinement and 112 days he received for rough treatment in Quantico, Va. According to the current conviction, Manning is eligible for parole after serving one-third of his sentence.