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. bobcat (in a hat) ©

    Oh, the poor baby was "alledgedly" treated inhumanely. WTH. What are we supposed to do ngive the hero treatment because of his treason ?

    March 13, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • paul321

      He is still innocent ... untill he goes to trial and may or may not be found guilty. That is the cornerstone of our justice system. Who are you to say otherwise ?

      March 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Niki

    @ bobcat (in a hat) ©
    If you new what the leaders of the world do (including the US more so than any others) you would be calling for his release.

    March 13, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • boommer

      Niki.......... and you know exactly what world leaders do????? you are probably one of these bleeding hearts who has never put boots an the ground to protect this county... Manning commited treason. he is getting the same treatment as any one else in solitary confinement. but I say let him out in the general public at Quanico. He would be dead in a day, and this would save us the money from a court case. a win win i see it as

      March 13, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. frank

    Funny, no mention here of the REAL political views that prompted Pfc. Bradley Manning (AKA Breanna) to betray his country, his unit and his comrades in arms

    March 13, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Louis Farrakhan

    He's my kind of guy.

    March 13, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Nelson Mandela

    What a crybaby.

    March 13, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Niki

    @ boommer
    Google "One World Order" then come back an say that again!!!

    March 13, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat) ©

      @ Niki
      The One World Order you speak of is a concept, not a reality. And btw, it's known as the New
      World Order.

      March 13, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Geoff Wood

    Free manning and give this hero a medal

    March 13, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Niki

    @ Geoff Wood, Be careful or you'll be called a twitt too. Referring to boommer's comment

    March 13, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mike

    The kid is a traitor, plain and simple. There is a process for whistle-blowing and he showed he could not be trusted. Solitary confinement is just fine for someone that divulged classified information. I mean, who knows what other contacts or means he has to release more??? That was a temporary security measure to contain the leak until he was transferred to a proper facility – NOT an inhumane treatment of a poor soul.

    March 13, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Coyote

    He released sensitive information. Plain and simple, he cannot be trusted with anything, ever again. I don't care what it was released, the fact that he broke that trust shows his character. And they expect him to get alone time with a reporter ? There are things that your leadership does that has to be done. They have to get there hands dirty and have to mkae those hard decisions that most people won't be able to swallow. But without those decisions, the government would fail, and everything you hold dear would be in danger. You want to be really worried you just have to remember when the GOP held federal pay as hostage so they could get what they wanted on their bills. You have to remember that the U.S. Military is taking a 500,000,000,000 USD cut because they could not pass a budget deal on time. It isn't what the Government does behind the doors that has little effect on the populous, but what they do IN FRONT OF YOU, and blatantly, that you should worry about. When they stop caring about what you think.

    March 13, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Phil in Oregon

    Remember this case is under military law, which is different than civil law. Manning was under oath to protect the secrets he gave away. If he is allowed contact with the outside world he could actually pass on even more info.

    March 13, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. catpaw

    He betrayed his oath and uniform; he acted as a spy and a traitor. He should have been hanged already.

    March 13, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Madly Branning

    I say we should all give him a chance and release him.

    March 13, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. chico

    he deserves the treatment he's getting...should of minded his own business.

    March 13, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Matt

    So here's the synopsis: He may or may not have been abused because the reporter wasn't allowed to ask him questions alone. Solitary Confinement = Torture. Wow! This man "allegedly" committed treason. Try him and if found guilty (there's quite a lot of evidence in this case I believe) hang him. That's the only punishment that Traitors deserve. Soon enough the UN and liberals everywhere will be crying that imprisonment is torture or cruel and unusual punishment so we should just let bad people do whatever they want for fear impinging on the rights of criminals.

    March 13, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
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