US refuses unmonitored meet with leaks suspect: UN expert

11th April 2011, Comments 3 comments

The UN's torture investigator said Monday that Washington had rejected repeated requests for him to have an unmonitored meeting with the man alleged to have leaked secret cables to WikiLeaks.

Bradley Manning, 23, a US army intelligence analyst, was arrested last year while deployed in Iraq amid suspicions he had passed a trove of secret US government documents to whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks that were then published in newspapers around the world.

"Since December 2010, I have been engaging the US government on visiting Mr. Manning, at the invitation of his counsel, to determine his current condition," Juan Mendez, the United Nations special rapporteur on torture, said in a statement.

"Unfortunately, the US government has not been receptive to a confidential meeting with Mr. Manning," he added in a statement.

Mendez said officials from the US State and Defence Departments told him on April 8 that he could meet Manning, but only in a "private visit" -- which he said suggests a meeting that is monitored by prison officials.

"I am deeply disappointed and frustrated by the prevarication of the US government with regard to my attempts to visit Mr. Manning," he said, pointing out that a monitored conversation would not allow him to verify credibly if the detainee has been ill-treated or tortured.

Mendez also reiterated concern over detention conditions from Manning, "who since his arrest in May 2010, has been confined to his cell for 23 hours a day at the Marine Corps Brig, Quantico, Virginia.

"I have also urged the authorities to ensure his physical and mental integrity," he added.

© 2011 AFP

3 Comments To This Article

  • Jerry posted:

    on 13th April 2011, 01:21:26 - Reply

    The US has to comply with the UN predispositions. The US undergoes the Geneva Convention rules. The US Armed Forces must respect international legal parameters. In the recent years, contrary to what being American stands for, the US has allowed contemptible mistreatment of prisoners, both abroad and domestically. Guantanamo is a shame to the US people, visible to the entire World. Using other countries as surrogates to interrogate through torture is also abject and contrary to the Geneva Convention. If we were to fulfill the mandate of the constitution and international laws, today the US government, the true authority behind all military action, would be held accountable for much misconduct...

    The UN has all the rights of this world to visit Manning on its own terms. The US impeding such process comes as setback to our way of seeing freedom and human rights. Being patriotic means exposing and rectifying governmental aberrations, if they do exist.
    We welcome the UN investigation as if it proves there aren’t any Geneva Convention and human rights violations, all for the best; but if there is misconduct, then it must be exposed.

    To w. marne that wrote here:
    While we appreciate the efforts of the individuals that fight for our right to be what we are, we must condemn those that deviate from our constitutional mandate and our laws. We understand that almost the entirety of our Forces are moved by orders and good intent, but we also see that in many cases the Government promotes strategies that, maybe unintentionally, greatly destabilize our American society as a whole. We are involved in wars where we shouldn’t be, pushing many nations around with our preaching. Many of us believe that our future is better safe with less Defense expenditures and more education and infrastructure at home. Maybe you are not aware, but we are undergoing the worst recession in history, here. If we see that our great values are being trampled and military actions initiated through lies, it is our right and responsibility to expose it. Manning saw misconduct and did what he thought was right. Many of us sympathize with him, who tried to expose those that hurt our country. Being patriotic means exposing and rectifying governmental aberrations, if they do exist.
  • Frank posted:

    on 12th April 2011, 17:17:41 - Reply

    Does the usa not always lie? Torture? Concentration camps? The U.N. is far more important than the usa , and Bradley Manning is a hero throughout the world, it is imperative that we look after him. The usa can not be trusted.
  • w. marne posted:

    on 12th April 2011, 00:20:05 - Reply

    Bradley Manning is an active duty US soldier under the jurisdiction of the US Armed Forces. That the UN Rapporteur begins his complaint by accusing the US of lying (prevarication means lying) shows that he has a preconceived agenda he seeks to vindicate rather than a search for truth. Although the US generally cooperates with the UN (despite the anti-US bias the UN so frequently exhibits), the US Armed Forces answer to the President of the United States, not some UN official who insults us.