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Related Post - Pentagon Lies - Bradley Manning's Friend David House Speaks About Bradley's Deterioration While In Confinement
Source: The Washington Post - April 11, 2011
A United Nations diplomat charged with investigating claims of torture said Monday that he is “deeply disappointed and frustrated” that U.S. defense officials have refused his request for an unmonitored visit with Pfc. Bradley Manning, the Army intelligence analyst accused of passing classified material to WikiLeaks.
Juan E. Mendez, the U.N. special rapporteur on torture, said his request for a private interview with Manning was denied by the Defense Department on Friday. Instead, he has been told that any visit must be supervised.
Mendez has been seeking to determine whether Manning’s confinement at a military brig at Quantico amounts to torture, following complaints about his treatment and an incident in which the private was forced to strip in his cell at night and sleep without clothing.
“My request . . . is not onerous: for my part, a monitored conversation would not comply with the practices that my mandate applies in every country and detention center visited,” Mendez said in a statement Monday, noting that at least 18 countries have allowed unmonitored interviews.
Manning, 23, has been held at Quantico since July 29 and is awaiting a possible court-martial on charges that he endangered national security by allegedly leaking classified military and diplomatic information.
For most of this time, military officials have kept Manning under “prevention of injury” watch, asserting that he poses a risk to himself. That means he spends 23 hours a day alone in his cell, with one hour allowed for exercise, and has no contact with other prisoners. He is allowed visitors for a few hours on the weekends. He must give up his prison uniform at night, though jail officials have now issued him a smock to wear.
U.S. officials have denied that Manning is being mistreated and have said that the circumstances of his confinement comply with U.S. law and Defense Department regulations.
Last month, however, P.J. Crowley, then the spokesman for the State Department, said the conditions of Manning’s confinement were “counterproductive and stupid” — a comment that angered the White House and prompted Crowley’s resignation.
On Sunday, the New York Review of Books published a letter signed by more than 250 lawyers, professors and authors, including Harvard University constitutional law professor Laurence H. Tribe, that called the conditions of Manning’s confinement “illegal and immoral.” The British government has also raised concerns about the issue.
In an interview, Mendez said that “at first glance,” Manning’s case seems to be “of interest to my mandate,” which is to investigate cases of cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment and report them to the U.N. Human Rights Council.
To do his job, he said, he needs to be able to speak to Manning without witnesses, including guards patrolling nearby. Otherwise, he said, “I cannot be sure Manning is being absolutely candid and honest with me if he knows that he’s being monitored.”
He said he is willing to see Manning nonetheless, if Manning wishes to see him.
The Defense Department has also denied requests for unmonitored visits with Manning by a representative of Amnesty International and by Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio), according to the soldier’s attorney.
Source: New Zealand Herald - March 16, 2011
Following yesterday's explosion at Fukushima Daiichi's unit 2 reactor, a decision was made by a manager on site to evacuate staff working in the area.
But around 50 employees - dubbed the Fukushima 50 - have remained at the site working tirelessly around the clock to avoid possible meltdowns at three reactors at the quake-hit nuclear power plant.
They are attempting to cool down fuel rods at three reactors by injecting seawater into them.
Despite wearing protective clothing, experts say there will be negative effects to their health as a result of the radiation levels.
David Richardson, a professor of epidemiology at the university of North Carolina who has studied the long-term health risks for nuclear plant workers, told the BBC those at Fukushima would receive in an hour the same amount of radiation a US nuclear worker is exposed over an entire career.
"These workers in a few hours are getting fairly high doses I would say by contemporary standards for worker protection and that's likely to pose some risks down the line.
"To my knowledge there's not a good way after exposure of trying to protect somebody from the risks of a subsequent later cancer."
Lee Tin-lap, a toxicologist at a Hong Kong university, told Reuters the current radiation levels would not be immediately dangerous - but there could be long-term effects.
"You are still breathing this into your lungs, and there is passive absorption in the skin, eyes and mouth and we really do not know what long-term impact that would have," he said.
Following the fire at unit 4 yesterday, radiation levels peaked to
levels dangerous for human health.
At 10.22am (2.22pm NZT) a radioactivity monitoring post near the unit 3 reactor showed 400 millisieverts per hour, 400 times the amount an average person is exposed to in a year, the Japan Times reported.
The radiation level was 100 millisieverts per hour near the unit 4 reactor and 30 millisieverts per hour between the unit 2 and 3 reactors.
An official at the Institute of Applied Energy told the Japan Times radiation exposure of 7,000 to 10,000 millisieverts per hour is considered a lethal dose.
"There is no doubt it is an amount that would have (a harmful) effect on the human body."
Without protective gear, exposure to 100 millisieverts per hour can render a man infertile, one Japanese expert told NHK News.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said yesterday the levels would "no doubt" have a harmful effect on the human body.
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