50 European Parliament Members Send Letter to U.S. Expressing Concerns About Bradley Manning’s Treatment

In advance of his first court appearance, a pre-trial hearing, on December 16, more than 50 members of the European parliament have sent an open letter to the U.S. government expressing concerns about the treatment of Wikileaks soldier Bradley Manning, the Guardian reports:

ManningThe MEPs said internal investigations into Manning's treatment in custody, which included solitary confinement for up to 23 hours a day, inspections by officers every five minutes from 5am onwards and removal of his clothes, had been marred by "clear conflicts of interest".

They call for US authorities to grant Juan Méndez, the UN special rapporteur on torture, access to Manning. Mendez has made repeated requests for access to the military base where Manning is held, all of which have been refused by US authorities.

The paper adds:

The open letter from European parliamentarians, which follows another signed by several hundred US legal scholars, questioned the charges against Manning and warned that his pre-trial treatment may harm the UN's work elsewhere, "particularly its mandate to investigate allegations of torture and human rights abuses".

"In order to uphold the rights guaranteed to Bradley Manning under international human rights law and the US constitution, it is imperative that the United Nations special rapporteur be allowed to properly investigate evidence of rights abuses. PFC Manning has a right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. People accused of crimes must not be subjected to any form of punishment before being brought to trial," they wrote.

"We certainly do not understand why an alleged whistleblower is being threatened with the death penalty, or the possibility of life in prison. We also question whether Bradley Manning's right to due process has been upheld, as he has now spent over 17 months in pre-trial confinement."

Meanwhile, WIRED reports that Manning's attorney claims that the government is withholding evidence favorable to Manning:

Manning’s defense attorney, David E. Coombs, is attempting to get evidence from the government to defend Manning in his upcoming pre-trial hearing on Dec. 16, but says the government is stonewalling him.

“The defense has repeatedly requested the below discovery in this case, but the government has consistently responded with a blanket denial of the defense request,” Coombs wrote in the partially redacted filing.

The evidence Coombs seeks includes copies of internal reports conducted by task forces assessing the damage from and the classification levels of the 250,000 State Department diplomatic cables and 500,000 classified Iraq and Afghanistan war field reports allegedly leaked by Manning to WikiLeaks.


  1. B says

    I’m perplexed as to why this site feels we must be informed about this case. Whatever treatment or legal issues surrounding Mr. Manning have absolutely nothing to do with his being gay, but due to his alleged actions as an enlisted military person. (period)
    I don’t get it.

  2. LincolnLounger says

    Who the hell cares what members of the European “parliament” say? Shouldn’t they be worried about the survival of the Euro?

    Once again, Bradley Manning knew EXACTLY what he was signing up for when he voluntarily joined the American military. It was NOT to become a social activist or whistleblower.

    The man was bragging on recorded conversations about betraying his country. It doesn’t matter what materials he released or how bad they were. Just like being “kind of” pregnant, one cannot be “kind of” a traitor.

    Rot in prison for eternity, Bradley Manning. Those who seek to make you a martyr will find it “Mission Impossible”.

  3. Kevin says

    A whistle-blower who exposes corruption in the military is not a traitor, he’s a hero. You want blind allegiance to the military and then you are later outraged that so many people knew things were wrong and didn’t do anything about it. I appreciate the updates and find his treatment shameful.

  4. Gay American says

    Its Pathetic when other countries HAVE TOO remind America..(the SUPPOSED Land of Liberty and Justice for ALL) to treat prisoners decently……wow, how america HAS SUNK.

    ..america – has lots of great sayings..that are good for Marque’ purposes ONLY

  5. D.R.H. says

    Every time I read a comment pertaining to what Andy chooses to post on HIS OWN website, I want to scream.

    Attitudes like yours are half the reason we’ve lost touch of social mores and find it so difficult to understand why no one accepts us. Not everything has to be all gay, all the time.

    The solution is easy, don’t read his website if you don’t like what he posts, you whiny b*tch.

  6. chuck says

    Remember we are at ‘war’ and the government can do anything it likes. Civil War: no Habeus Corpus; WWI: commies jailed and citizens deported; WWII: Japanese ‘interned';
    Vietnam: How many Kent State National Guardsmen went to jail?; Afghanistan/Iraq: water boarding; Gitmo; now Manning.
    OWS is probably next.

  7. dms says

    His treatment may be extreme, but his actions are pretty clear and indefensible. And he’s no hero. If you watch the documentary piece about him from Frontline, he’s no political entity, he’s just a lonely kid with a messed up sense of himself due to a lifetime of bullying who did something that got him some attention and gave him some satisfaction at “getting back” at the system where he didn’t fit in.

    Not exactly heroic.

    And while you may disagree with the system as it is, putting the lives of the men and women who work within the system isn’t exactly a heroic way to undermine it. Because, when their lives are at risk, our lives are at risk.

    What really irks me, is if this guy was some neo-nazi gay basher, many of us would be singing a different tune. Point being, we should not deify someone based on their sexual orientation–we should look at the facts as they are and then make an opinion.

    The facts here are pretty clear. That being said, that even though he is clearly guilty, his extreme punishment, if true, may not make sense or in fact, be legal.

  8. Stephen Q says

    It is scartat our government doe what it wants, when it wants, and how it wants. It is scary what is going on without our knowing. It is only going to get worse.

  9. anon says

    The EP issues all kinds of statements, as do groups of congressmen. There appears to have been zero fallout from Manning’s actions per se, but I’m sure there were plenty of apologies behind the scenes to world leaders over statements in released cables. Meanwhile, China hacks away at our secrets anyway. The Internet exposes secrets. All secrets.

  10. MammaBear says

    I think Andy does it to prod people into hyper hysterical fits of heinous hyperbole. And alliteration.

    Now please, for the love of God, someone point out that Manning is a devious heterosexual tranny.

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