Assange calls US soldier accused in Wikileaks case an “unparalleled hero”

March 4th, 2011 - 2:29 pm ICT by ANI  

London, March 4 (ANI): Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has said that Bradley Manning, the US Army Private accused of sharing classified documents with the whistleblower website, is an “unparalleled hero”.

“For him to now be in prison for 10 months in solitary confinement, without trial, is an abuse. He is, whether the charges are true or not, America’s foremost political prisoner. If these allegations are true, he’s an unparalleled hero,” quoted Assange, as saying.

“Look at what’s happening in the Middle East as a result of some of the material we’ve been publishing,” he added.

Supporters of 23-year-old Manning have claimed that the army private is being held “in a hole” at a prison at Quantico Marine Corps base in Virginia, but the Pentagon has denied such allegations.

David Coombs, Manning’s lawyer, though admitted that his client was “not technically held in solitary confinement”, he claimed that the soldier was being held in “unduly harsh” conditions.

Coombs has also claimed that his client was stripped of his clothes and left naked in a cell at the Quantico Marine base in Virginia for seven hours.

“This type of degrading treatment is inexcusable and without justification. It is an embarrassment to our military justice system and should not be tolerated. Pfc Manning has been told that the same thing will happen to him again tonight. No other detainee at the brig is forced to endure this type of isolation and humiliation,” Coombs wrote.

On Wednesday, the United Stated had filed 22 additional charges against Manning.

After a seven-month investigation, the Army alleged that 23-year-old Manning had used the government property to extract confidential information and share it with the enemy for public consumption, a statement from the military said. (ANI)

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