Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bradley Manning to be moved from Virginia to Kansas

Politico reports that Bradley Manning will be moved from maximum security in Quantico, VA to a medium security facilty [the new Joint Regional Correctional Facility] at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The Pentagon insists that the decision isn't  a concession that Manning has been mistreated.
Manning, his attorney, liberal activists and international human rights groups had complained that the Army was, in essence, punishing him through unnecessarily strict treatment at Quantico. They said he was in solitary confinement, with virtually no contact with other prisoners and only an hour a day out of his cell for exercise. He was forbidden to exercise in his cell and took all his meals there. At one point, Manning was made to sleep naked due to what the military said were suicide concerns, though Navy psychiatrists declined to support the move. More recently, he's been given a smock to wear at night...
     Manning's attorney, David Coombs, said in a blog post Tuesday night that he learned of the move from a leak to the Associated Press. He said he was officially advised of the planned transfer 20 minutes before the Pentagon news conference.
Pretrial confinement cell, JRCF
     ..."The defense was in the process of filing a writ of habeas corpus seeking a court ruling that the Quantico Brig violated PFC Manning’s constitutional right to due process," Coombs said. "The facts surrounding PFC Manning’s pretrial confinement at Quantico make it clear that his detention was not 'in compliance with legal and regulatory standards in all respects' as maintained at the Pentagon press briefing."
     Coombs said he intends to take further legal action "at the appropriate time for the flagrant violations of his constitutional rights by the Quantico confinement facility."
     Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), who like the U.N. official was denied a private meeting with Manning, said the announcement had not resolved his concerns.
     "Absolutely nothing the Department of Defense has done so far with respect to Pfc. Manning provides any assurance that his basic human and constitutional rights are being protected. The Department of Defense has refused to provide timely answers to even the most basic questions," Kucinich said in a statement.

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