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MOSCOW, August 21 (Itar-Tass) - Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison. He was initially charged with 22 offenses, including communicating national defense information to an unauthorised source and aiding the enemy. He was convicted in July 2013 of most of the charges, including several violations of the Espionage Act, but was acquitted of aiding the enemy, the most serious charge. He will be eligible for parole after serving one third of his sentence.
The U.S. court handed down an “unjustifiably harsh” verdict in the case of Bradley Manning, a U.S. Army soldier who was arrested in May 2010 in Iraq on suspicion of having passed classified material to the website WikiLeaks, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s commissioner for human rights, democracy and the rule of law Konstantin Dolgov said.
“American officials can often be heard criticising certain court judgments made in other countries with regard to alleged infringements upon the freedom of speech, assembly and other civil rights. However when the interests of the United States itself are at stake, the American judicial system, as in the case of Manning, makes unjustifiably harsh decisions in order to teach others not to do the same, without any regard for human rights aspects,” Dolgov said in a statement on Wednesday, August 21.