“I conclude that the 11 months under conditions of solitary confinement (regardless of the name given to his regime by the prison authorities) constitutes at a minimum cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in violation of article 16 of the convention against torture,” Juan Mendez, UN special rapporteur on torture.
Below, Darker Net reveals the names of those accused of the torture of Bradley Manning. In the meantime, the legal team representing Manning, charged with leaking war crimes, are requesting that all charges raised against him are dismissed given that for several months he was subjected to torture. The submission concludes, as a result of “flagrant violation” of Manning’s “constitutional rights,” the judge should dismiss all charges with prejudice or, at minimum, grant “meaningful relief in the form of at least 10-for-1 sentencing credit for the 258 days PFC Manning inappropriately spent in the equivalent of solitary confinement.”
Here is the full 110 page motion for dismissal of charges.
More details from The Dissenter – click here.
Accused 1. James Averhart
The officer in charge of Manning’s incarceration at Quantico and who ordered he be tortured was Quantico’s Brig Commander, James Averhart. He gave orders to put Manning into solitary confinement while detained on charges awaiting trial. Manning spent 23 hours a day in a cell and wore a smock so abrasive he acquired fabric burns from it. Manning’s bedding articles, smock and related evidence are being submitted to the court for review of pre-trial punishment conditions levied against the whistleblower. Bradley Manning: “On 18 January 2011, over the recommendation of Capt. Hocter and the defense psychiatrist, Capt. Brian Moore, Averhart placed me under suicide risk. The suicide risk means that I sit in my cell for 24 hours a day. I am stripped of all clothing with the exception of my underwear. My prescription eyeglasses are taken away from me. I am forced to sit in essential blindness with the exception of the times that I am reading or given limited television privileges. During those times, my glasses are returned to me. Additionally, there is a guard sitting outside my cell watching me at all times.” The stripping and interrogation that Manning endured was videotaped by the Quantico facility.
Accused 2. Daniel J Choike
On March 2, 2011, Manning, then confined under Maximum custody and Prevention of Injury Watch (POI) at Quantico, where he had been since July 29, 2010, was told that his Article 138 request to be placed under Medium custody and removed from harsh and punitive pre trial confinement was denied by Daniel J. Choike, Quantico base commander.
Accused 3. Col. Robert G Oltman
When challenged by a Brig psychiatrist that there was no mental health justification for the torture, Colonel Robert Oltman responded, “We will do whatever we want to do”.
Litany of torture
PFC Manning was placed in a cell directly in front of the guard post to facilitate his constant monitoring.
PFC Manning was awoken at 0500 hours and required to remain awake in his cell from 0500 to 2200 hours.
PFC Manning was not permitted to lie down on his rack during the duty day. Nor was PFC Manning permitted to lean his back against the cell wall; he had to sit upright on his rack without any back support.
Whenever PFC Manning was moved outside his cell, the entire facility was locked down.
Whenever PFC Manning was moved outside his cell, he was shackled with metal hand and leg restraints and accompanied by at least two guards.
From 29 July 2010 to 10 December 2010, PFC Manning was permitted only 20 minutes of “sunshine call.” Aside from a 3-5 minute shower, this would be the only time PFC Manning would regularly spend outside his cell. During this sunshine call, he would be brought to a small concrete yard, about half to a third of the size of a basketball court. PFC Manning would be permitted to walk around the yard in hand and leg shackles, while being accompanied by a Brig guard at his immediate side (the guard would have his hand on PFC Manning’s back). Two to three other guards would also be present observing PFC Manning. PFC Manning would usually walk in figure-eights or some other pattern. He was not permitted to sit down or stay stationary.
Initially, Brig guards provided PFC Manning with athletic shoes without laces which would fall off when he attempted to walk.
PFC Manning elected to wear boots instead because at least the boots would stay on when he walked.
From 10 December 2010 onward, PFC Manning was permitted a one hour recreation call. At this point, the Brig authorized the removal of his hand and leg shackles and PFC Manning was no longer required to be accompanied by a Brig guard at his immediate side. Although PFC Manning was technically “permitted” to use exercise equipment at the gym, most of this equipment was unplugged or broken down. In addition, depending on the guards, they would not permit him to use certain types of equipment (e.g. the chin up bar). So as to avoid any problems with the guards, PFC Manning would usually walk around the room as he had during his sunshine calls. Three or four guards would be monitoring PFC Manning during his recreation call.
PFC Manning was only authorized non-contact visits. The non-contact visits were permitted on Saturdays and Sundays between 1200 and 1500 hours by approved visitors. During these visits, he would have to wear his hand and leg restraints.
PFC Manning was required to meet his visitors in a small 4 by 6 foot room that was separated with a glass partition. His visits were monitored by the guards and they were audio recorded by the Brig. The recording equipment was added by Army CID after PFC Manning’s transfer to the Quantico Brig.
PFC Manning was only permitted non-contact visits with his attorneys. During these visits, he was shackled at the hands and feet.
PFC Manning was not permitted any work duty.
PFC Manning was subject to constant monitoring; the Brig guards were required to check on him every five minutes by asking him some variation of, “are you okay?” PFC Manning was required to respond in some affirmative manner. Guards were required to make notations every five minutes in a logbook.
At night, if the guards could not see him clearly, because he had a blanket over his head or he was curled up towards the wall, they would wake PFC Manning in order to ensure that he was okay.
At night, only some of the lights would be turned off. Additionally, there was a florescent light in the hall outside PFC Manning’s cell that would stay on at night. PFC Manning was required to receive each of his meals alone in his cell. He was only permitted to eat with a spoon.
There were usually no detainees on either side of PFC Manning. If PFC Manning attempted to speak to those detainees that were several cells away from him, the guards would order him to stop speaking.
PFC Manning originally was provided with a standard mattress and no pillow. PFC Manning tried to fold the mattress to make a pillow so that he could be more comfortable when sleeping. Brig officials did not like this, so on 15 December 2010 they provided him with a suicide mattress with a built-in pillow. This built-in pillow was only a couple of inches high and was not really any better than sleeping on a flat mattress.
PFC Manning was not permitted regular sheets or blankets. Instead he was provided with a tear-proof security blanket. This blanket was extremely coarse and irritated PFC Manning’s skin. At first, PFC Manning would get rashes and carpet burns on his skin from the blanket. Eventually, his skin became accustomed to the coarseness of the blanket and he got fewer rashes. The blanket did not keep PFC Manning warm because it did not retain heat and, due to its stiffness, did not contour to his body.
PFC Manning was not allowed to have any personal items in his cell.
PFC Manning was only allowed to have one book or one magazine at any given time to read. If he was not actively reading, the book or magazine would be taken away from him. Also, the book or magazine would be taken away from him at the end of the day before he went to sleep.
For the last month of his confinement at Quantico, PFC Manning was given a pen and five pieces of paper along with his book. However, if he was not actively reading his book and taking notes, these items would be taken away from him.
PFC Manning was prevented from exercising in his cell. If he attempted to do push-ups, sit-ups, or any other form of exercise he would be forced to stop. When PFC Manning went to sleep, he was required to strip down to his underwear and surrender his clothing to the guards.
PFC Manning was only permitted hygiene items as needed. PFC Manning would have to request toilet paper every time he wanted to go to the bathroom; at times, he had to wait for guards to provide him with toilet paper.
There was no soap in his cell. PFC Manning requested soap to wash his hands after using the bathroom; guards would sometimes get the soap, and sometimes not.
PFC Manning was not permitted to wear shoes in his cell.
PFC Manning was initially only permitted correspondence time for one hour a day; after 27 October 2010, this was changed to two hours per day.
From 18 January 2011 until 20 January 2011, PFC Manning was forced to strip down to his underwear during the day.
From 18 January 2011 until 20 January 2011, PFC Manning was forced to sleep naked at night.
From 18 January 2011 until 20 January 2011, PFC Manning’s eyeglasses were taken away from him.
From 18 January 2011 until 20 January 2011, PFC Manning was not permitted out of his cell and was on 24-hour suicide watch.
From 2 March 2011 until 6 March 2011, PFC Manning was forced to surrender all his clothing at night and sleep naked.
From 2 March 2011 until 6 March 2011, PFC Manning was forced to surrender his eyeglasses during the day and at night.
After 6 March 2011, his eyeglasses were returned to him during the day, but continued to be removed from him at night.
On 3 March 2011 until 6 March 2011, PFC Manning forced to stand naked at parade rest where he was in view of multiple guards.
From 7 March 2011 onward, PFC Manning was required to wear a heavy and restrictive suicide smock which irritated his skin and, on one occasion, almost choked him.
More details from the blog of the law offices of David Coombs, Manning’s defense lawyer.
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