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In Support of Bradley Manning, Icelandic MP Risks Arrest with Upcoming US Visit
'None of the people responsible for the war crimes' in WikiLeaks video has been held accountable, says MP
Despite the possibility of her arrest by U.S. authorities, an Icelandic MP known for her roll in the release of the "Collateral Murder" video put out by Wikileaks in 2010 has announced plans to travel to the United States to garner support for the alleged whistleblower Bradley Manning.
MP Birgitta Jónsdóttir was part of the WikiLeaks team who helped prepare the video which contains military footage from a U.S. Apache helicopter as it gunned down innocent civilians in Iraq, including a Reuters journalist and two children.
The leaks led to the subsequent arrest and indefinite detention of Manning, who is currently undergoing a lengthy pre-trial hearing process for his alleged roll in releasing the video and other military and diplomatic documents.
The Guardian reports that Jónsdóttir has been engaged in a two-year legal dispute with the U.S. Justice Department after it attempted to obtain her private information through the use of a subpoena requesting access to her personal data on Twitter.
In 2011, the U.S. ambassador to Iceland said that Jónsdóttir would not be arrested if she traveled to the states.
However, she has now been advised by the Icelandic government not to go through with the trip, which has warned that a verbal assurance from a US diplomat is far from binding.
In response to the Icelandic government's pleas to cancel her trip, Jónsdóttir told the Guardian:
I refuse to live in fear, and I don't want to live in the shadows. I don't think I've done anything illegal or that I'm an enemy of the US state, but if they think I've committed a crime, I want to know. [...]
I feel connected to Bradley Manning's fate through that video. [...]
It's deeply troubling to me that he is the only one suffering the consequences – none of the people responsible for the war crimes in the video have been held accountable. [...]
Jónsdóttir's first trip to the U.S. since the leak is scheduled to begin on April 5, 2013 in New York to mark the third anniversary of the footage leak. Her trip will include a traveling exhibition of stills from the Collateral Murder video, including a tour across the US ahead of Manning's trial—scheduled to begin in June.