UN investigator slams US over “cruel” treatment of Bradley Manning
By the Bradley Manning Support Network. March 5, 2012
GENEVA, Switzerland — Juan Mendez, the United Nations Rapporteur on Torture, has slammed the United States government for abusing accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower PFC Bradley Manning during pre-trial confinement. Mr. Mendez has repeatedly sought to conduct an unsupervised meeting with PFC Manning in order to investigate these abuses.
“I believe Bradley Manning was subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in the excessive and prolonged isolation he was put in during the eight months he was in Quantico,” said Mr. Mendez
Mr. Mendez commented on Bradley Manning’s conditions of confinement at a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. He went on to say that “the explanation I was given for those eight months was not convincing for me.”
“It’s astonishing that US officials are blocking an investigation into the humiliating and degrading treatment of Bradley Manning, while the Kingdom of Bahrain has just invited Mr. Mendez to conduct a fact-finding mission into their recent abuses of political prisoners,” said Jeff Paterson, a lead organizer with the Bradley Manning Support Network.
After widespread condemnation of PFC Manning’s conditions of confinement, he was moved to more humane conditions at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in April 2011. Following a high-level Pentagon meeting last year, Jeh Johnson, the Defense Department’s General Counsel, wrote a letter to Mr. Mendez in which he denied an unsupervised meeting. Mr. Johnson stated bluntly:
“You should have no expectation of privacy in your communications with Private Manning.”(link)
In a subsequent letter to Mr. Koh, Mr. Mendez reaffirmed that:
“…private, unmonitored and privileged communications are an essential prerequisite of any credible fact-finding endeavour undertaken by the Special Rapporteur.” (link)
Attorneys for PFC Manning have notified supporters that he is now being held at Fort Meade, Maryland, for his pre-trial and expected court-martial proceedings. The next hearing will be held at Fort Meade on March 15 at 10:00 AM EST.