U.N. official critical of Manning detention
Bradley Manning faces 22 charges, including aiding the enemy
March 13th, 2012
12:50 PM ET

U.N. official critical of Manning detention

U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, accused of aiding the enemy by passing reams of classified military documents to WikiLeaks, may have been treated inhumanely by the U.S. military since his arrest in 2010, according to a report from the United Nations' top official on torture.

The findings are the result of a 14-month long probe conducted by U.N. special rapporteur Juan Mendez and released late last month. They could spark a debate about Manning's case as it winds toward a court-martial later this year. The latest hearing in Manning's case is scheduled for later this week, at which motions made when Manning was charged on February 23 will be heard.

In his February 29 report, Mendez wrote that he appealed to the United States to get an unmonitored interview with Manning but was unsuccessful. He told the British newspaper The Guardian that he cannot give a definitive report on Manning's treatment because he cannot visit with the soldier alone.

The soldier has been held in military detention since his arrest in May 2010. He was then an Army intelligence analyst at Forward Operating Base Hammer outside Baghdad where, prosecutors say, he put software on secure computers that allowed him to download classified material and burn it to a compact disc.

Manning is facing 22 charges, including aiding the enemy, which could send him to prison for life.

Read more about Manning's upbringing in Oklahoma and how he came to be suspected as WikiLeaks' source

Mendez wrote that Manning was kept alone in a cell for 23 hours a day for nearly one year at the Marine Corps base at Quantico, Virginia, where he was kept before his transfer to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in April 2011. The solitary confinement ended when Manning was transferred to Leavenworth, Mendez wrote.

"The Special Rapporteur concludes that imposing seriously punitive conditions of detention on someone who has not been found guilty of any crime is a violation of his right to physical and psychological integrity as well as of his presumption of innocence," the report said.

Mendez stressed that "solitary confinement is a harsh measure which may cause serious psychological and physiological adverse effects on individuals regardless of their specific conditions." Depending on the circumstances of Manning's case, the decision to hold Manning in this manner might have breached an international convention against torture.

Manning's attorney David Coombs has long decried on his blog that Manning was treated inhumanely at Quantico. Coombs has also used his blog to hint at how he might defend his client.

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Filed under: WikiLeaks
soundoff (143 Responses)
  1. Yakobi

    I'm sooooo happy the U.N. is concerned about the solitary confinement of one traitorous U.S. soldier. And yet it's silent about the elections in Russia, the new law in China allowing secret prisons, and the ongoing massacre in Syria.

    Egad, we need to get the U.S. out of this ineffectual body ASAP!

    March 14, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Accept the UN is not silent on those items, you just failed to look for them.

      March 19, 2012 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jim

    Sounds like a open & shut case of treason, a firing squad will stem this type of activity.

    March 15, 2012 at 7:09 am | Report abuse |
    • richard

      Big, gruff talk from a small man. Typical from no-nothings.

      March 15, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  3. G

    This guy is a traitor. He doesn't deserve any special treatment. What he did was break the law. Criminals, especially military ones that do really stupid things like this, deserve to be tried, and imprisoned. He's a disgrace to the uniform and I for one hope he gets life in prison or shot. Either way, for betraying his security clearance and the soldiers lives who were affected by his release of information he deserves life in prison or just being shot and saving the taxpayer's money.

    March 15, 2012 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Fei

      I don't think he's a traitor for giving WikiLeaks the video of a US APACHE GUNSHIP MURDERING CIVILIANS AND REPORTERS. You who think he should follow orders like a good little robot (ahem sorry), soldier, are the ones that deserve to be shot, not him. The only reason they say "aiding the enemy" is that it's the only charge that will stick for opening the public's eyes.

      March 16, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. richard

    Bradley Manning is a hero who should be honored for his exposure of American duplicity in its dealings with foreign countries. Rather than incarcerate him in inhumane conditions, he should be shown to be a brave soldier who put integrity and honesty into an otherwise corrupt military system. Note the Marine weasels who killed innocent children in Afghanistan: where are they today? Free! Manning killed no one, did more good than a thousand military goons and yet he is being prosecuted far beyond humane standards. Long live Wikileaks, Bradley Manning and free speech!

    March 15, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  5. Martin Walters

    Are we a nation that lives by and up to our laws or not? Are we a nation that adheres to the international standards we have signed onto or not? If military personnel or the CIA are able to act with impunity we do it at our own potential demise and are no longer leader of the 'free' world.

    March 15, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • HWB

      You call what happened to Manning torture?????????????????????????????????????. Syria is torture. Work on that Martin if you care not to waste your time.

      March 15, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • American Eagle

      Yes its torture. Go look up the definition which the US binds to.

      March 16, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. phil

    the only people supporting this guy are gays.

    March 15, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • American Eagle

      Youre the only one with gay on your mind

      March 16, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Cris


    He should have thought about that long and hard before he stole US secrets while in uniform....YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS at that point.

    March 15, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • common sense

      So what happened to innocent until Provence guilty ..

      March 16, 2012 at 2:53 am | Report abuse |
    • American Eagle

      Point to the section in the law that says you have no rights at that point?

      March 16, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ravioli

    Where does it say he can't be imprisoned before trial? Every arrested individual is held in a cell before trial unless given bail. If he wasn't given bail then he can't leave the jail. Now, whether solitary confinement is too much I don't know the military code on potential traitors and how they should be kept enough to make a judgement on that.

    March 16, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. sick dog

    if he had made money at it i could despise him. any wrong doing he exposed good for him. it's not like he laughed and clapped sitting in an AA position.

    March 16, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jr

    I love my country and am currently finishing my tour with the Marine Corps, i also beleive in freedome of speech religion and right to bare arms. If this PFC wanted to undercover wrong doings by individuals/ units he was aware of, the are correct procedures to go about doing so such as through the chain of command and judicial officials. These actions put sensitive materials as well as other men an womens lives at stake. I feel he should be punished accordingly and although the brig system is harsh other countries most likely would have decapitated this man already and thats what sepparates us from them.

    March 18, 2012 at 7:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      First, thank you for your service.

      Secondly, you're absolutely right. If he wanted to be a whistleblower, there are proper channels to go through for that.

      March 20, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  11. hammer

    When you are in the military you are under military law not civilian law.

    March 18, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • hammer

      If you commit a crime off a military base it is under civilian law but the military consider you awol if you are in civilian jail and can't report for duty.

      March 18, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • hammer

      The last US soldier that faced a firing squad was during WWll.I don't remember his name but it was for desertion.

      March 18, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  12. ldean50

    This would be my defense... wasn't Bush "aiding the enemy" when he outing Valerie Plame as a CIA agent because she and her husband spoke out and said Iraq did NOt have weapons of mass destruction? When he outed her, he outed every CIA agent in the world that carried the same fake buisness card showing they worked for a make-believe company AND he outed the fact that ambassador's wives around the world worked for the CIA.
    Bush put peoples lives at risk, this guy just embarrassed a bunch of people.

    March 18, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  13. kayscullion

    FEI: ARE YOU KIDDING ME?????????????? How about you release the videos of the ARAB terrorist flying a JUMBO jet through the World Trade Center...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is as bad a terrorist, he committed treason, and deserves EVERYTHING he's going to get. How dare you even think that what he did was O.K!? People make me sick...

    March 19, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. buy usa vpn

    Fantastic site. A lot of helpful information here. I am sending it to several friends ans also sharing in delicious. And certainly, thank you to your effort!

    April 2, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
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