The following is a statement released by David E. Coombs, Esq., the attorney for Pfc. Bradley Manning. From Coombs’ blog:
There has been some discussion regarding PFC Bradley Manning’s citizenship. PFC Manning does not hold a British passport, nor does he consider himself a British citizen. He is an American, and is proud to be serving in the United States Army. His current confinement conditions are troubling to many both here in the United States and abroad. This concern, however, is not a citizenship issue. Instead, it is one involving a basic fundamental right not to be unlawfully punished prior to trial. PFC Manning is not being held like any other detainee at Quantico. He is in Maximum Custody and under Prevention of Injury watch over the repeated recommendation of brig forensic psychiatrists. There has been no stated justification for PFC Manning’s confinement conditions. It is the hope of the defense that through the various inquiries into the arbitrary nature of his confinement status, he will soon receive relief from these onerous conditions.
[Updated 2/2/11 6:27pm EST.]
For media inquiries, contact Blair Fitzgibbon, FITZGIBBON/ Media LLC, 202-503-6141
Now that Chief Warrant Officer Denise Barnes has replaced Commander James Averhart as the commander in charge of the detention facilities at Quantico, outstanding questions still remain. The change comes days after the attorney for WikiLeaks suspect Private First Class Bradley Manning filed a complaint that he is being unfairly treated in detention and after Military officials admitted to NBC on Monday that Averhart abused his authority by putting Manning on an unnecessary suicide watch.
Military officials admitted today that Quantico Brig Commander James Averhart improperly classified Bradley Manning as a “suicide risk” in order to impose harsh conditions on him as punishment for failure to follow orders. Averhart’s order overruled the opinion of three brig psychiatrists who said Manning was not at risk. The