Just hours after Bradley Manning was hit with aiding-the-enemy charges, his lawyer is claiming that the Army private was stripped naked and forced to sit in a freezing prison cell:
A lawyer for Pfc. Bradley Manning, the Army intelligence analyst accused of leaking secret government files toWikiLeaks, has complained that his client was stripped and left naked in his cell for seven hours on Wednesday. …
The soldier’s clothing was returned to him Thursday morning, after he was required to stand naked outside his cell during an inspection, Mr. Coombs said in a posting on his Web site.
First, Lt. Brian Villiard, a Marine spokesman, confirmed that Manning’s clothes were taken from him, though he didn’t give many details of the incident, except to say that it wasn’t done for punitive reasons.
“It would be inappropriate for me to explain it,” Villiard told the New York Times. “I can confirm that it did happen, but I can’t explain it to you without violating the detainee’s privacy.”
This isn’t the first time that Manning’s lawyer has asserted that the private suffered abuse in prison, and it likely won’t be the last. It’s typical of attorneys to claim that their clients are mistreated in prison, and in a case like Manning’s, these types of allegations will be eaten up by his supporters.
But based on Villiard’s statement, and the timeline of the incident, it sounds like Manning’s clothes may have been taken from him owing to suicide concerns. The Army private was previously put on suicide watch in prison. His reaction to the new charges against him could have military officials apprehensive about his mental state.