Sample letter to the Quantico Brig
[City, State, Zip]
Quantico Brig Commanding Officer
CWO2 Denise Barnes
3247 Elrod Avenue, Quantico VA 22134
Quantico Base Commander
Colonel Daniel Choike
3250 Catlin Avenue, Quantico VA 22134
Dear [title and name],
I am writing to demand that you end the inhumane, degrading conditions of Bradley Manning’s pre-trial confinement and respect his human rights. Specifically, I ask you to lift the “Prevention of Injury (POI) watch order”. This would allow Bradley meaningful physical exercise, uninterrupted sleep in night clothes, and a release from isolation.
The United Nations (UN) Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (SMR), which are internationally recognized guiding principles, provide that “Untried prisoners shall always be offered opportunity to work” should they wish to undertake such activity (SMR Section C, rule 89). The current treatment of Bradley Manning, who has not demonstrated violence towards himself or the other residents at Quantico, amounts to punishment of a prisoner awaiting trial, which is expressly forbidden by the UN SMR. The conditions under which PFC Manning is held appear to breach the USA’s obligations under international standards and treaties, including Article 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which the USA ratified in 1992 and which states that “all persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person”.
Judging from numerous psychological studies of prisoners in isolation, Bradley Manning’s current conditions pose a danger to his health and psychological well-being, and raise a number of legal questions about the validity of any testimony he gives in trial. The fact that this case has prompted investigation from the UN office on torture issues makes clear that Manning’s treatment is also damaging Quantico’s reputation. In conclusion, current circumstances must change immediately so that Bradley Manning is treated like other inmates in Quantico, in clear accordance with international law.