US whistleblower is serving 35 years in US military prison for leaking information relating to the US occupation of Iraq and the wider ‘war on terror’
THE CREATORS of a play about imprisoned US whistleblower Chelsea Manning and her Scottish supporters will deliver free tickets to its Edinburgh festival performance today (Thursday 18 August).
Protestors and artists will deliver the free tickets for the play Private Manning Goes to Washington to the US’s principal officer in Scotland, Susan Wilson, at the US consulate in Edinburgh.
The play’s creators, New York theatre company The Representatives, said their intention was to force the US’s ambassador to Scotland to witness the contradiction between the rhetoric and the reality of the US administration’s approach to whistleblowers.
They said: “It’s a chance for her to see an imagined encounter between her boss, Barack Obama, who was elected on a platform of supporting whistleblowers, and Chelsea Manning, a whistleblower whom his military courts have sentenced to 35 years in a high security Kansas army prison. We wonder, how does the president feel about that?”
US President Barack Obama ran for office on a promise to protect whistleblowers.
Manning, who is transgender, is being held in an all-male military prison. In July she was taken to hospital after a suicide attempt, and has spent large amounts of her prison term so far, which began in 2013, in solitary confinement.
She was convicted in 2013 of leaking around 700,000 files of military intelligence to the Wikileaks website while she was employed by the US military as an intelligence analyst in Iraq.
The play, which stars Matt Steiner as Manning and is directed by Stan Richardson, will be showing in Edinburgh from 15-27 August, and features a dialogue between Obama and Manning.
The tickets will be delivered to the US consulate today (18 August) at 1pm at 3 Regent Terrace.
The campaigners are also asking audience members and supporters to sign a petition, supported by celebrities including comedian Mark Thomas and veteran activist Peter Tatchell, calling on US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to release Manning.
Picture courtesy of torbakhopper
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