Bradley Manning was held in solitary confinement despite expert’s claim he was no longer a suicide risk
The government psychiatrist charged with evaluating Pfc. Bradley Manning during his early detention at the military brig at Quantico told the judge at a pre-trial hearing on Wednesday that his recommendations for the Manning’s treatment were repeatedly ignored by the Marine guard unit responsible for him.
Captain William Hoctor, a military forensic psychiatrist with 24 years of experience, testified that he’d never had his advice so studiously ignored by his colleagues and that inmates he performed similar duties for at the Guantanamo detention facility for foreign terror suspects were treated better and with more urgency than Pfc. Manning.
"I had been a senior medical officer for 24 years at the time, and I had never experienced anything like this. It was clear to me they had made up their mind on a certain cause of action, and my recommendations had no impact," Hoctor said.
Manning is standing trial for passing on US diplomatic cables and military documents to the whistleblowing and media site Wikileaks. Among those leaked items was video footage of an army helicopter attack on civilians in Iraq that came to be known as Collateral Murder.
Though Manning has already been held in US military detention for over two years without a completed trial, his lawyers are trying to have the charges thrown out on the grounds that Manning’s ill-treatment during the earliest parts of his incarceration at Quantico was "unlawful" and that throughout he has been denied due process and a speedy trial.
Hoctor said that repeated attempts to get Manning taken off "prevention of injury" status, or Pol, were rebuffed by commanding officers. These restrictions, as The Guardian reports, included: "no contact with other people, being kept in his cell for more than 23 hours a day, being checked every five minutes, sleeping on a suicide mattress with no bedding, having his prescription glasses taken away, lights kept on at night, having toilet paper removed."
Read the full article at: commondreams.org
November 29, 2012, BBCNews
The US Army private charged over the biggest security breach in US history has testified on the third day of a hearing at Fort Meade, Maryland. Source: BBCNews
Bradley Manning, 24, answered questions about his treatment following his arrest in Baghdad, Iraq, in May 2010.
His lawyer is arguing that Pte Manning was treated unfairly in solitary confinement in Quantico, Virginia.
Reporters at the court said Pte Manning seemed nervous, swivelling in his chair and stuttering as he testified.
Pte Manning’s defence lawyers say charges against their client should be dismissed because of the harsh conditions he faced during a nearly nine-month detention in maximum-security prison at Quantico.
The military has said Pte Manning was treated properly, and was considered to pose a risk to himself and others.
Pte Manning is also charged with 14 other counts, including aiding the enemy, a charge for which he could face life in prison if found guilty.