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Wikileaker Manning peace gong petition backed by thousands

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Nearly 40,000 people have signed a petition calling for Wikileaker Bradley Manning to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Private First Class Manning, 25, is facing 20 years behind bars for divulging 250,000 classified US intelligence documents - a cache of which ended up on Julian Assange™'s Wikileaks website. But the private denies a charge of "aiding the enemy", a crime that can be punished by death. He will be tried in June.

The soldier, who has spent at least 1,000 days in solitary confinement in a military prison, is among a record-breaking 259 nominees for the gong. He is listed alongside Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by Taliban gunmen after she campaigned for girls' education.

Now an online petition calling for the prize to be awarded to Manning has been signed by more than 36,000 people in little over a week. It will eventually be submitted to the Nobel Prize committee.

In a statement, American civil liberties activists Roots Action - which organised the petition - said:

No individual has done more to push back against what Martin Luther King Jr. called "the madness of militarism" than Bradley Manning. And right now, remaining in prison and facing relentless prosecution by the US government, no one is more in need of the Nobel Peace Prize.

As well as leaving their names, hundreds of people from around the world have used the petition to pledge their support for the soldier. One netizen called him "a hero in the deepest and truest meaning of that word". Another claimed Manning had "done more for peace in our time than any other individual".

Meanwhile, the US government claimed the diplomatic cables leaked by Manning could have cost people their lives and hurt the country.

To sign the petition, click here. ®

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