UN expert says US blocking meeting with 'Wikileaks' soldier

April 11, 2011 22:00

GENEVA - The United Nations investigator on torture on Monday accused the US administration of blocking a one-on-one meeting he was seeking with detained "Wikileaks" soldier Bradley Manning.

Argentine lawyer Juan Mendez said he had been trying to organize a visit to check on Manning's condition since December.

Manning, 23, is being held during the investigation of charges that while serving in Iraq he leaked secret documents, including hundreds of State Department cables, that later appeared on the Wikileaks website.

Manning has been held at the Quantico Marine base in Virginia since May last year. His lawyers have complained that he is being mistreated by being kept in his cell for 23 hours a day, while the Pentagon says he has to sleep naked and is woken repeatedly during the night to check that he is safe.

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