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UN investigates US treatment of Bradley Manning

Soldier suspected of being source of WikiLeaks files allegedly being kept for most of each day in solitary confinement, which could be viewed as torture.

This undated photo of Bradley Manning obtained by The Associated Press.
This undated photo of Bradley Manning obtained by The Associated Press.
Image: AP Photo

THE UN HAS CONFIRMED it is investigating complaints made by supporters of detained US army soldier Bradley Manning, suspected of supplying confidential US files and military information to WikilLeaks.

The Guardian reports that Manning, a private in the US army, faces court martial some time next year.

The UN’s special rapporteur on torture has confirmed is is investigating claims that Manning is being mistreated while he is being detained by US military authorities.

One of his supporters claims Manning is being held in solitary confinement for up to 23 hours a day, which could be interpreted as a form of torture. His visitors say his health is deteriorating.

Private First Class Manning was charged in July with leaking classified material, including a highly controversial video released by WikiLeaks showing a US helicopter attack in Baghdad 2007 in which two Reuters employees were killed. Wired reported in early June that Manning was arrested in Baghdad, where he was stationed, after he allegedly told a former computer hacker that he had been involved in the leak.

WikiLeaks has never confirmed the source of their information, and Manning has never publicly commented on whether he was involved in the leak.

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Fox News reports that the US military has responded to the UN’s query by saying Manning is being treated fairly, and that UN involvement in the case would be unusual. A spokesperson in the Army press office at the Pentagon, Gary Tallman, told Fox News that  the UN action “does not necessarily constitute an investigation”.

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