Irish politicians call on Obama to pardon whistleblower

Chelsea Manning is to spend her seventh birthday and Christmas behind bars

TDs, Senators and Irish human rights campaigners have joined global calls to President Barack Obama to pardon whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

Manning, whose grandfather came from Dublin, has been sentenced to thirty five years after leaking information on U.S military abuses while serving as an intelligence analyst in Iraq.

December 17th marked her seventh birthday while incarcerated. She turned 29. 

“The information that Manning gave to the public exposed torture and horror of Guantanamo Bay. It showed us the true human cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and changed journalism forever," said Joe Murray, Director of the Afri human rights organisation.

"Chelsea Manning told us what we deserve to know. Obama now has a chance now to do the right thing and Pardon Chelsea Manning before he leaves office next office month.” 

TDs Catherine Connolly, Mick Wallace, Joan Collins, and Clare Daly and Senator David Norris have all voiced their support for the proposed pardon.

A new Whitehouse website petition of over 100,000 signatories is calling on President Obama to release Manning for time served, which they say is more than any other person who has ever disclosed information in the public interest.

Manning has attempted suicide twice this year and is facing an extended prison sentence.

Snowden

Before he leaves office, Obama is also being called upon to pardon fellow whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Snowden recently conducted an interview with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey via the app Periscope, which was watched by over 150,000 people.