, GENEVA, Mar – US authorities’ treatment of WikiLeaks suspect Private Bradley Manning was “cruel and degrading,” the UN special rapporteur on torture Juan Ernesto Mendez said Monday.
“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,” he told AFP, referring to the US military prison near Washington.
Jailed for more than a year and a half before his arraignment last month, Manning, 24, has complained of being placed in solitary confinement, of bullying by guards, and of being subjected to an ultra restrictive regime in Quantico.
He has been charged with 22 counts in connection with turning over a massive cache of classified US documents to the secret-spilling website WikiLeaks in one of the biggest intelligence breaches in US history, including “aiding the enemy.”
At his arraignment hearing at the Fort Meade army base on February 24, when he declined to enter a plea, Manning’s civilian lawyer, David Coombs, said his client had been in confinement for 635 days.