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Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Russia

WikiLeaks Informant Is Brutally
Abused in American Prison

By Aleksandr Gasyuk

Translated By Tavus Kuliyeva

12 December 2012

Edited by Kyrstie Lane

Russia - Rossiiskaya Gazeta - Original Article (Russian)

Former U.S. Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, who was arrested in May 2010 for disclosing confidential information, was subjected to humiliating treatment and torture by prison guards while in detention, according to activists in his defense.

Manning's attorney said that prison authorities ignored all recommendations by medical experts and held the 24-year-old ex-soldier in complete isolation in a tiny cell for 23 hours a day. "The fact that Manning’s spirit is not broken is amazing. Being treated as a zoo animal for that period of time has to weigh heavily on the psyche," said David Coombs, the lawyer of the former private.

Manning, who for purely moral reasons disclosed to the unmasking site “WikiLeaks” thousands of classified documents including some that graphically expose war crimes committed by the U.S. Army, might face life in prison. The former soldier is being accused of 22 charges, including "aiding the enemy."

The American government sees Manning as a traitor, but his supporters see him as a hero who has exposed the abuse and violations of human rights by the United States. "Bradley just wanted to expose the crimes for the sake of American democracy, but in return he was accused," said Jeff Paterson, an activist in the movement for the defense of Manning.

While being imprisoned before the court hearing at the Marines Corps base Quantico in Virginia, every night for two months the detainee was forced to take off his clothing and sleep on the floor naked. During the 20-minute walk outside of his cell to which he was entitled, he was not allowed to squat or stand still, and his hands and feet were chained.

The prison guards explained such inhumane actions by their doubts in the inmate's mental health and the possibility of his suicide. Meanwhile, the prosecutor denies that prison guards violated any rules.

Manning is now in a state prison in Kansas. Court hearings are set for the middle of January of next year, and the first court-martial will be held on Feb. 4 at Fort Meade in Maryland.



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