Across the Pond: This week, Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, was released on bail from a London prison. Assange will remain under “mansion arrest” at the 600-acre estate of Vaughan Smith, a London restaurateur and former war correspondent. He plans to fight extradition to Sweden where he would face sex crimes allegations.
Back Here at Home: Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old U. S. Army intelligence specialist who has been accused of leaking classified documents to Wikileaks, has been held in solitary confinement at the marine brig in Quantico, Virginia, for five months. Before being transferred to Quantico, Manning was held in a military jail in Kuwait for two months. Manning will face a court martial on charges that he provided Wikileaks with classified information in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Bradley Manning is being kept under constant surveillance and is “under a regimen of authority-administered anti-depressant drugs.” He is reportedly not permitted to have a pillow or sheets—and not permitted to exercise. He is allowed out of his cell for just one hour a day.
According to MSNBC, Manning is being held under harsher conditions than “Bryan Minkyu Martin, the naval intelligence specialist who allegedly tried to sell military secrets to an undercover FBI agent.” Minkyu, who is awaiting trial, is not being held in solitary confinement.
From Glenn Greenwald: “Just by itself, the type of prolonged solitary confinement to which Manning has been subjected for many months is widely viewed around the world as highly injurious, inhumane, punitive, and arguably even a form of torture.”
All this harsh treatment—and Manning hasn’t even been convicted of the crime for which he has been charged.
For further reading on a related topic: DOJ Says Pentagon Isn’t Properly Protecting Whistleblowers (Turley Blawg)
The inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning’s detention by Glenn Greenwald (Salon)
Forgetting Bradley Manning by Laura Flanders (The Notion: The Nation’s Group Blog)
Bradley Manning’s Personal Hell (MSNBC)
Photo of Bradley Manning courtesy of the Bradley Manning Support Network