By Michelle Garcia
Originally published on Advocate.com January 08 2013 5:48 PM ET
Military judge Denise Lind has ruled that Army private Bradley Manning was treated unlawfully before his trial, awarding him 112 days of credit toward his sentence if he is convicted.
The gay soldier was held in isolation in a windowless 6-by-8-foot cell for nine months in a Marine brig in Quantico, Va., where he was denied sunlight and meaningful exercise, and was not allowed to wear clothing for part of his detention. Those conditions are deemed "cruel, inhuman, and degrading" by the United Nations' Special Rapporteur on Torture. Marine jailers testified that they believed Manning was a suicide risk and required extreme conditions to ensure he would not harm himself or others.
After a pretrial hearing, Lind ruled Tuesday that Manning's extreme confinement was excessive and largely unnecessary.
"She confirmed that Bradley was mistreated, and vindicated the massive protest effect that was required to stop the Marines at Quantico from torturing Bradley," Jeff Patterson, a spokesman for the Bradley Manning Support Network said in a statement Tuesday. "Yet, 112 days is not nearly enough to hold the military accountable for their actions."
Manning was arrested in 2010 for allegedly leaking large amounts of classified government information to the website WikiLeaks. He is being charged with 22 offenses and faces a potential sentence of more than 150 years in prison.
Manning's hearing will continue through Friday, and his court-martial trial is scheduled to start March 6.