UN Torture Watchdog: I Want to See Manning

Pentagon is blocking unmonitored visit, official complains

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 12, 2011 4:04 AM CDT

(Newser) – The United Nations' torture watchdog is accusing the US of stonewalling him in his attempts to visit suspected WikiLeaker Bradley Manning. "I am deeply disappointed and frustrated by the prevarication of the US government with regard to my attempts to visit Mr. Manning," said UN official Juan Mendez. "I am acting on a complaint that the regimen of this detainee amounts to cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment or torture." Mendez said most nations allow his visits without conditions, but the US Defense Department is only allowing a "private visit," meaning the visit would take place with a guard present and that anything Manning might say to Mendez could be used in the soldier's court martial, reports the Guardian.

Mendez said he will visit Manning under current conditions, but will continue to press for an
unmonitored visit. "I am insisting the US government lets me see him without witnesses," he said. Supporters have charged that Manning's incarceration amounts to torture. He is being held in solitary confinement in Quantico, and is forced to strip each night, according to his attorney. Pentagon officials say Manning is being held in a "single-occupancy" cell and is allowed to receive visitors, watch TV, and exercise outside his cell.

Suspected Wikileaker Army Pfc. Bradley Manning.
Suspected Wikileaker Army Pfc. Bradley Manning.   (AP Photo/File)
Protester holds a sign during a demonstration outside FBI headquarters in Washington earlier this year.
Protester holds a sign during a demonstration outside FBI headquarters in Washington earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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