ACLU Condemns WikiLeaks Suspect’s Treatment

WASHINGTON (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union is condemning the military’s treatment of the Army private suspected of giving classified material to WikiLeaks.

ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero wrote in a letter Wednesday to Defense Secretary Robert Gates that the conditions of Pfc. Bradley Manning’s pretrial detention at a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va., violate the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.

The military has said repeatedly that Manning’s treatment conforms to U.S. law and military regulations.

The former intelligence analyst is confined alone in his cell 23 hours a day and must surrender all his clothing at night in favor of a military-issued, suicide-prevention smock.

The ACLU calls this treatment punitive, a view shared by Manning’s civilian attorney.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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