John Kerry reacts to Bradley Manning's prison conditions

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March 6, 2011, 4:02 pm
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(NECN/CNN) - The lawyer for the U.S. soldier accused in the WikiLeaks scandal claims his client is being ritually humiliated in prison.

Bradley Manning, accused of giving classified documents to the WikiLeaks website, is being held at the Marine base prison in Quantico, Virginia.

His attorney says Manning is being forced to sleep naked every night.

He says it follows a sarcastic comment by Manning that if he wanted to commit suicide, he could do it with his underwear waistband or with his flip-flops.

Massachusetts Senator John Kerry was asked about the situation, and offered some defense for what's going on. 

"There are concerns about what is happening, but a strong argument is being made that they're trying to preserve his safety, they don't want him harming himself, and using his own clothing to hang himself, or do something like that," said Kerry. "That's happened in prison before. I think it is possible to protect him, I think, and there are some legitimate reasons to believe that that may be true also. But I think that a lot of people are now reviewing this very, very closely, people have weighed in, myself included, I think that analyses are being made. There was a big article in the newspapers today examining it. And I'm convinced that there will be real scrutiny with respect to that issue."

The facility's commander says they're not trying to humiliate or embarrass Manning, but to keep him safe so he can stand trial.

Tags: prison, John Kerry, Wikileaks, Bradley Manning, attorney
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