A United Nations special report on torture has accused the U.S. government of "inhumane" treatment of U.S. soldier and alleged WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning.
Manning, 24, worked an as an intelligence analyst and was held in solitary confinement for almost a year on suspicion of being the WikiLeaks source. He was charged with 22 counts, including aiding the enemy, regarding the leaking of a massive trove of secret U.S. documents to the website.
Juan Mendez, who runs the UN office that investigates incidents of alleged torture, completed a 14-month investigation into the treatment of Manning since his arrest at a U.S. military base in May 2010.
Mendez told the Guardian: "I conclude that the 11 months under conditions of solitary confinement (regardless of the name given to his regime by the prison authorities) constitutes at a minimum cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in violation of article 16 of the convention against torture. If the effects in regards to pain and suffering inflicted on Manning were more severe, they could constitute torture."
Mendez determined that the U.S. was at least culpable of cruel and inhumane treatment in keeping Manning locked up alone for 23 hours a day over an 11-month period.
"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," Mendez wrote.
Manning was initially held for almost three months at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait. In July 2010, he was transferred to the Marine Corps base at Quantico in Virginia for eight months in conditions including being held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day and being made to strip naked at night.
Manning's solitary confinement ended in April last year when he was transferred from Quantico to Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. He is currently being held in a facility in Virginia so that he can make pre-trial appearances at Fort Meade in Maryland.
by RTT Staff Writer
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