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Alleged 'WikiLeaker' Bradley Manning sent to less restrictive prison

Under pressure from human rights groups, the Defense Department moved Bradley Manning, charged with giving classified documents to WikiLeaks, to the Fort Leavenworth military prison in Kansas.

By Staff writer / April 21, 2011

Tighe Barry of Los Angeles, Medea Benjamin of Code Pink, and Chris Hager, of Falls Church, Va., rally with other supporters of Bradley Manning in front of the White House March 14, 2011, to protest alleged abusive treatment of Manning.

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Under pressure from Amnesty International and other human rights groups, the Defense Department has moved Bradley Manning – alleged to have provided Wikileaks with confidential material – from the Marine Corps brig at Quantico, Va., to a less restrictive military prison in Leavenworth, Kan. There, he'll have a larger cell, plus several hours a day with the rest of the prison population for exercise, meals, and other activities.

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The Pentagon and the Obama administration had come under increasing fire for Manning's being held in isolated confinement for more than nine months without trial, a controversy which cost the State Department spokesman his job.

Manning is a US Army Private First Class charged with providing thousands of classified documents – many of them diplomatically embarrassing – to WikiLeaks. To some he is a traitor, to others a whistle-blowing hero.

Arrested in May 2010, Manning is accused of having "unauthorized possession of photographs relating to the national defense, to wit: a classified video of a military operation filmed at or near Baghdad ... and did willfully communicate, deliver and transmit the video ... to a person not entitled to receive it." He is also accused of "knowingly exceed[ing] his authorized access on a secret Internet Protocol Router network computer."

The graphic gun-camera video referred to in the charges against Manning showed US Apache attack helicopters killing about a dozen people in Iraq in 2007, including two Reuters news agency employees.

Twenty-two additional charges were recently added, including “aiding the enemy” – a capital offense.

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