RFI | US soldier in Wikileaks case left naked in jail cell, lawyer claims

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange leaves after appearing at Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in London 24 February 2011. Reuters/Paul Hackett

A lawyer for US soldier Bradely Manning, who is suspected of supplying a trove of classified memos to whistleblower site WikiLeaks, has accused the military of abusing his client by leaving him naked in his prison cell.

Army private Manning, 23, was stripped of all clothing on Wednesday and left overnight before being forced to stand naked at the front of his prison cell during an inspection, lawyer David Coombs wrote on his blog.

Manning has been held at the prison since July under a maximum security regimen because authorities say his escape would pose a risk to national security.

He faces numerous charges for stealing classified files and is suspected as the source of a plethora of classified documents published by WikiLeaks in recent months, infuriating and embarrassing US officials.

On Wednesday the US Army filed 22 new charges against Manning. The most serious new charge is “aiding the enemy”, a capital offence under Article 104 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

“None of the four actual identified real spies of the last three decades [CIA agents Ivan Nicholson and Aldrich Ames and FBI agents Earl Pitts and Robert Hanssen] who sold US national security information to the Soviet Union and Russia, ultimately faced the death penalty,” Former FBI agent Coleen Rowley said Thursday.

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