UN rights expert denied WikiLeaks suspect visit


1 hr 30 mins ago

GENEVA – A U.N. torture investigator said Monday he is frustrated at being denied an unmonitored visit to a U.S. Army private suspected of giving classified material to WikiLeaks.

Juan Mendez said the U.S. government "has not been receptive to a confidential meeting" with Pfc. Bradley Manning. He said in a statement that a monitored conversation would be counter to the practice of his U.N. mandate.

Officials at the U.S. mission in Geneva said they weren't immediately able to comment.

Pentagon spokesman U.S. Marine Col. Dave Lapan said in a statement, however, that Mendez is free to meet with Manning with his consent but said an unmonitored visit can't be guaranteed.

"At Quantico, such a guarantee is only reserved for attorney-client communications," he said.

Manning is being held in solitary confinement in Quantico, Virginia, for all but an hour every day. He is stripped naked each night and given a suicide-proof smock to wear to bed. Amnesty International says the treatment may violate Manning's human rights.