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WikiLeaks suspect to get prison upgrade

Bradley Manning has been in prison since July 2010.
Bradley Manning has been in prison since July 2010. AFP/Reuters/RFI

The US army officer who allegedly passed classified documents to whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks is being transferred to a new prison, the Pentagon announced on Tuesday. Rights groups have criticised the treatment he received in his current jail in Quantico, Virginia.

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Army intelligence officer Bradley Manning, who is still awaiting trial for his role in the WikiLeaks affair, will be sent to the Fort Leavenworth prison in Kansas. There he will be allowed contact with other detainees and visitors.

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He has been held at Quantico since July 2010. Campaign group Amnesty International criticised the “harsh and punitive” conditions he was kept in, including solitary confinement and being forced to sleep naked.

Quantico is designed for short-term incarceration. “It is rare if not unprecedented that

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somebody is there for as long as nine or 10 months,” admitted Jeh Johnson, the general counsel of the Department of Defense.

Johnson nonetheless insists that Manning’s treatment at Quantico complied with all “legal and regulatory standards”.

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