Apr 15 2011

 

 

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After eight months Private Bradley Manning is still being held in horrendous conditions by the United States military - kept in isolation, forced to be naked and inspected often, allowed few visitors and afforded extremely limited access to the outside world. The injustice against this young man has become a worldwide cause. Organized by Azaaz.org, over a half million people around the world have sent letters to the President urging that he "immediately end the torture, isolation and public humiliation of Bradley Manning.”

In a letter signed by hundreds of leading legal scholars representing almost every single major law school in the United States, they state:

The Administration has provided no evidence that Manning’s treatment reflects a concern for his own safety or that of other inmates. Unless and until it does so, there is only one reasonable inference: this pattern of degrading treatment aims either to deter future whistleblowers, or to force Manning to implicate Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in a conspiracy, or both.

If Manning is guilty of a crime, let him be tried, convicted, and punished according to law. But his treatment must be consistent with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. There is no excuse for his degrading and inhumane pre-trial punishment. As the State Department’s PJ Crowly put it recently, they are “counterproductive and stupid.” And yet Crowley has now been forced to resign for speaking the plain truth.

The United States refuses to allow the United Nations Rapporteur of Torture Juan Mendez to investigate the allegations. In addition they have turned down all requests from Amnesty International to visit and check on Manning's conditions. Time to end this shameful episode and release Private Manning from isolation and respect his human rights.