If an individual take responsibility as a fellow creature and making the world aware about terrible violations against civilians, is it right to make this individual stand trial for this effort? From the common sense’s point of view the obvious answer will be: no one should be held responsible for that kind of reporting. Unfortunately, is this something that, at the moment, is possible and there is a great risk that there will be an escalation in legal actions against compassionate fellow creatures in the future. In the example of a world we say we live in here in the Western world, we cannot put an individual at the stand for a brotherly action, especially since we are trying to foist our “fantastic” values and system on the rest of the world.
A couple of weeks ago, the American soldier Bradley Manning stood trial in an American court, because the international law (read American law) tells us that he committed a crime. The “crime” he “committed”, is that he provided an unauthorized source with classified material that could hurt the US as a country. There are about 22 charges against him of which one is “supporting the enemy” (just like in the movies about the Cold War). Well, maybe it is true that the information that reached the unauthorized source, has damaged the US as a country from the foreign policy point of view, but through my eyes his action has helped many individuals, either already affected or maybe could be affected if the US undisturbed could have accomplish its “kind deeds”. There is no doubt that from the sensible individual’s point of view, he has made an effort for the humanity.
It is a disaster that individuals, that is doing a helluva admirable work in the service for humanity, is getting imprisoned and ends up in a court. The case of Manning is on the international level, but what happens when similar things end up at the national level? Will you, as a social worker, risk imprisonment when you leave information to a third part about human rights abuses in the social service. Will this lead to a system that you get rewarded if you report someone that is whistle-blowing about abuses to the world? It will be a disaster for our well-fare if this kind of scenario would become reality.
The US is a sovereign state and is doing whatever they can to protect their right to imprison a “traitor”, but it does not mean that it is right from the moral and ethical perspective. A fellow human being must have the possibility to act against human rights abuses and be able to forward information that is containing proof about the abuses.
The world’s leading society provide us with a resolution that give individuals immunity from being imprisoned and punished for making us aware about human rights abuses;
The United States of America release soldier Maninng immediately.