The UN's torture chief has officially accused the US government of cruel and inhumane treatment of suspected WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning, the Guardian reports. The agency's special rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendez, investigated Manning's treatment for 14 months and found that Manning's 11-month solitary confinement was "at a minimum cruel, inhuman, and degrading," but may have been torture "if the effects in regards to pain and suffering inflicted on Manning were more severe."
Mendez tells the Guardian he could not definitively conclude Manning was tortured because he was never allowed to interview him in private. The lack of privacy is also unacceptable, Mendez notes, and violates the UN's human rights procedures. The findings, which are published in a report on human rights to the UN general assembly, will likely inflame criticism of the government's treatment of Manning, who is scheduled to be court-martialed this year.