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Lawyer: WikiLeaks private treated unfairly

Lawyer: WikiLeaks private treated unfairly

QUANTICO, Va., Jan. 21 (UPI) -- The lawyer for the U.S. Army private suspected of giving secret documents to the Web site WikiLeaks says authorities are using punitive measures against him.

Bradley Manning, 23, is being held at the Marine Corps jail in Quantico, Va., The Washington Post reported. He was placed on two days of suicide watch this week against the recommendation of the jail's forensic psychiatrist, attorney David E. Coombs said.

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Government authorities denied claims Manning is being unfairly treated. A United Nations official said he asked the State Department to conduct a formal inquiry into Manning's treatment.

A prisoner on suicide watch is required to stay in his cell around the clock, is stripped to his underwear and required to take meals in his cell.

"The fact that they won't articulate any basis for it (suicide watch) leaves you with no other conclusion than it must be punitive," Coombs said.

Coombs said he would file a motion alleging the conditions of Manning's confinement equate to unlawful pretrial punishment, violating Article 13 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Quantico spokesman 1st Lt. Scott Villiard said he doesn't know why Manning was put on suicide watch, but the determination was "based on input from more than one person."

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