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WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning's harsh conditions in US jail revealed

By Kim Sengupta

The harsh prison detention conditions endured by Bradley Manning — the US soldier who is alleged to have supplied classified government documents to WikiLeaks — have emerged.

For the last seven months, Private Manning (23) has been kept in a cell six feet wide and 12 feet long, in solitary confinement at a maximum security military jail at Quantico, Virginia.

Private Manning, who faces a 52-year sentence if convicted, is being held on “prevention of injury watch” for those deemed to be at risk of self-harm.

Friends of Private Manning say that this has become a means by the authorities to pressurise him into giving evidence against Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks.

A typical day for Private Manning begins with being woken at 5am in the cell, which has a drinking fountain and a toilet. He is then allowed to put on his clothes, which he surrendered on going to bed the night before.

Under the rules, Private Manning is not allowed to sleep at any time between 5am and 8pm; if he does so, he is made to sit up or stand by the guards.

He is allowed just one hour of exercise a day, even then not in the fresh air, but an empty room where he can walk in figures of eight.

Any attempt by him to keep himself busy by, for example, doing press-ups, or sit-ups, is forbidden.

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