Kucinich Lauds Improvements in Care of Pfc. Manning, Continues to Demand Rights Be Upheld
Calls on Defense Department to Answer for Treatment at Marine Corp Base Quantico
WASHINGTON - Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today released the following statement after Private First Class (Pfc.) Bradley Manning’s lawyer announced that the treatment of Pfc. Manning, the soldier accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, now appears to respect his Constitutional and legal rights following a transfer to a new detention center.
“The most recent reports regarding the treatment of Private First Class (Pfc.) Bradley Manning are encouraging. A blog by Pfc. Manning’s lawyer indicates that he has been taken off of Prevention of Injury watch and no longer remains in solitary confinement following his recent transfer to the Joint Regional Corrections Facility (JRCF) at Fort Leavenworth. This is a step in the right direction and a testament to the public and media’s interest in protecting Manning’s rights under the law. The extent to which the conditions of his treatment and detention have improved can be attributed to the pressure by interested parties.
“I am pleased to learn that Pfc. Manning’s lawyer is more optimistic about his treatment at the JRCF, yet I remain concerned about his treatment at Marine Corps Base at Quantico and the protection of his Constitutional rights. I also have concerns about his safety at JRCF and will monitor his treatment closely.
“At the Marine Corp Base Quantico, Pfc. Manning was subjected to harsh conditions which may have violated his right to freedom from ‘cruel and unusual’ punishment. He was held in solitary confinement for nine months, he was forced to sleep naked and stand at attention, nude in front of other prisoners, and held under Prevention of Injury watch, which required him to reply to stimulus every five minutes.
“I will continue to demand answers from the Department of Defense about why he was held in such conditions and will continue to follow up on my request to meet with Pfc. Manning,” said Kucinich.