Bradley Manning supporters stage UK events

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Pte Mannings's trial is due to start next month

Events are to be held across the UK, and the rest of the world, to mark the 1,000th day spent in prison by alleged Wikileaks source Bradley Manning.Pte Manning, 25, was detained in May 2010 in Iraq on suspicion of passing secret files to the website. The US Army analyst faces 22 charges, including aiding the enemy. If convicted, he could be jailed for life.A series of events will be held across the US and Europe, including in London, Edinburgh, Yorkshire and Cardiff.

"There has never been a more important time to broadcast our message of support for exposing war crimes, international justice, and people's right to know what the government does in our name," said a spokesman for US-based campaign group.

Whistle-blowing Wikileaks became known for publishing sensitive material from governments and other high-profile organisations, including thousands of US embassy cables.Its founder Julian Assange remains at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where he took refuge last June. Mr Assange, 41, faces extradition to Sweden over sexual assault claims - allegations he denies.

He fears onward extradition to the US to face charges over the leaked files.

'Tragic hero'

Events are planned across the UK on Saturday, including a solidarity vigil in Birmingham and a picket at the US embassy in London, to mark 1,000 days of Pte Manning's imprisonment.

His trial is expected to start on 6 March.

Last month, a military judge at a pre-trial hearing in Fort Meade, Maryland, ruled Pte Manning would have 112 days taken off his sentence if he is convicted. The judge said Pte Manning had suffered illegal punishment during his nine-month detention following his arrest.

Pte Manning wants the charges dropped because of his ordeal.

He has offered to take responsibility for leaking more than 250,000 diplomatic cables and classified files to Wikileaks - but the US government is still planning to prosecute him on all 22 charges.New York civil rights lawyer Chase Madar, who has written a book about Pte Manning, said he believed he was a "tragic hero".

"There is still a perception that the US is at risk from military leaks - but I believe what he did was a good thing, both for the United States and for the rest of the world," he said.

"The documents leaked represented less than 1% of what Washington classified in the whole of 2011."

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