For Immediate Release
Supporters Call for End to Inhumane Treatment of Bradley Manning
QUANTICO, VA - After trying other avenues of recourse, the Bradley Manning Support Network is urging supporters to engage in direct protest in order to halt the punitive conditions of the soldier's detention. Bradley Manning, 23, has been held in solitary confinement in military jails since his arrest in late May on allegations that he passed classified material to WikiLeaks..
In the wake of an investigative report last week by Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com giving evidence that Manning was subject to "detention conditions likely to create long-term psychological injuries", Manning's attorney, David Coombs, published an article at his website on Saturday entitled "A Typical Day for PFC Bradley Manning". Coombs details the maximum custody conditions that Manning is subject to at the Quantico Confinement Facility and highlights an additional set of restrictions imposed upon him under a Prevention of Injury (POI) watch order.
Usually enforced only through a detainee's first week at a confinement facility, the standing POI order has severely limited Manning's access to exercise, daylight and human contact for the past five months, despite calls from military psychologists to lift the order and the extra restrictions imposed.
Despite not having been convicted of any crime or even yet formally indicted, the confinement regime Manning lives under includes pronounced social isolation and a complete lack of opportunities for meaningful exercise. Additionally, Manning's sleep is regularly interrupted. Coombs writes: "The guards are required to check on Manning every five minutes [...] At night, if the guards cannot see PFC Manning clearly, because he has a blanket over his head or is curled up towards the wall, they will wake him in order to ensure he is okay."
Denver Nicks writes in The Daily Beast that "[Manning's] attorney [...] says the extended isolation - now more than seven months of solitary confinement - is weighing on his client's psyche. [...] Both Coombs and Manning's psychologist, Coombs says, are sure Manning is mentally healthy, that there is no evidence he's a threat to himself, and shouldn't be held in such severe conditions under the artifice of his own protection."
In an article to be published at Firedoglake.com later today, David House, a friend of Manning's who visits him regularly at Quantico, says that Manning "has not been outside or into the brig yard for either recreation or exercise in four full weeks. He related that visits to the outdoors have been infrequent and sporadic for the past several months."
Bradley Manning Support Network founder Mike Gogulski stated that "the Marine Brig is using injury prevention as a vehicle to inflict extreme pre-trial punishment on Bradley Manning. These conditions are not unheard-of during an inmate's first week at a military jail, but when applied continuously for months and with no end in sight they amount to a form of torture."
The Bradley Manning Support Network calls upon Quantico base commander COL Daniel Choike and brig commanding officer CWO4 James Averhart to put an end to these inhumane, degrading conditions. Additionally, the Network encourages supporters to phone COL Choike at +1-703-784-2707 or write to him at 3250 Catlin Avenue, Quantico, VA 22134, and to fax CWO4 Averhart at +1-703-784-4242 or write to him at 3247 Elrod Avenue, Quantico, VA 22134, to demand that Bradley Manning's human rights be respected while he remains in custody.
"The inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning's detention", Glenn Greenwald, 15 December 2010, http://www.salon.com/news/
"A Typical Day for PFC Bradley Manning", David E. Coombs, 18 December 2010, http://www.
"Bradley Manning's Life Behind Bars", Denver Nicks, 17 December 2010, http://www.thedailybeast.com/
THE LAST FIREWALL AGAINST THE LIES
Independent media has become the last firewall against government and corporate lies. Yet, with frightening regularity, independent media sources are losing funding, closing down or being blacked out by Google and Facebook. Never before has independent media been more endangered. If you believe in Common Dreams, if you believe in people-powered independent media, please support our critical Winter campaign now and help us fight—with truths—against the lies that would smother our democracy. Please help keep Common Dreams alive and growing.