Washington: Bradley Manning, the United States army intelligence analyst jailed for allegedly leaking government documents to WikiLeaks, will no longer be in solitary confinement after being transferred from a military facility in Quantico, Virginia to a prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, according to the Department of Defence.
Members of the media were permitted to enter the Fort Leavenworth jail and observe the conditions under which Mr. Manning is being detained. According to the visiting group of reporters, officials assured them that Mr. Manning would be held alongside another ten detainees awaiting trial.
Specifically the Associated Press reported that he would “have his own cell, wear standard prison clothing and have open access to a communal area except overnight.” In Quantico Mr. Manning’s treatment by prison officials became the centre of a growing controversy as he was held in solitary confinement for 23 hours each day and forced to strip down to a smock every night.
His treatment there also led to several incidents involving high-profile officials. Last month State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley resigned after calling the Pentagon’s actions “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.” Following this a top United Nations official has said that he was “deeply disappointed and frustrated by the prevarication of the U.S. government,” after his attempts to have unmonitored meetings with Mr. Manning were rejected.
However as he is now held along with medium-security prisoners and in less restrictive conditions the focus of his case is likely to shift to his court martial hearing, the date for which has not yet been set.
Yet even that trial has already been dogged by controversy as President Barack Obama was caught on camera saying to an attendee at a fundraising event in San Francisco last week that Mr. Manning “broke the law.” Some legal experts have argued that in saying so Mr. Obama has “destroyed the chance of a fair trial” for Mr. Manning.