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Russia regards US assessment of Bradley Manning case manifestation of double standards

July 31, 2013, 16:20 UTC+3

Russia “faces attempts to attribute to the country commitments it did not assume,” Dolgov noted

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MOSCOW, July 31 (Itar-Tass) - Russia has questions over how the U.S. policy assesses the issue of convicted U.S. serviceman Bradley Manning, Foreign Ministry Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and Supremacy of Law Konstantin Dolgov told reporters on Wednesday.

“Double standards in U.S. assessments of similar situations bring questions,” he said. “If you require absolute freedom of speech from others, you should evaluate yourself with the same yardstick in general. If the standard is different, this cannot but evoke reproaches,” Dolgov added.

Russia was following the development and analyzing the affair. “As for parallels, a large number of them can be drawn in our interdependent world,” Dolgov said answering the question of whether the Manning affair would influence Russia's position in the case of former CIA employee Edward Snowden. “We should wait and see which sentence will finally be handed down on Manning,” he added.

“When they say to us, 'You should extradite him to us because we extradite them to you' there is a big difference between extradition and deportation,” the diplomat said. “They did not give a reply to our direct question: Give the list of those who, you believe, were extradited at Russia’s request,” Dolgov said. “We proceed from the need to honour commitments that we and other parties assumed,” the diplomat added. “In issues where there are no commitments, they should not exist,” he said.

Russia “faces attempts to attribute to the country commitments it did not assume,” Dolgov noted, adding that no reason existed for the manhunt after Snowden in Russia because he had violated no Russian laws.

On Tuesday, Manning, who leaked classified documents to the website WikiLeaks, was convicted of espionage and theft of public property in the United States. He was cleared of aiding the enemy, which threatened him with life in prison. The serviceman faced 21 charges.

The military court at the Fort Meade base on Wednesday will launch hearings that will result in a total term in prison for Manning. With due account for the severity of his crimes he can be imprisoned for many years though he may be granted the right to release on parole.

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