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WikiLeaks suspect now 'medium custody' prisoner

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An image of the front of the Joint Regional Correctional Facility in Fort Leavenworth, Kan. provided by the U.S. Army

FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. -- Suspected WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning, whose treatment in custody has spurred protests from supporters and human rights groups, is now considered a “medium custody” prisoner and is allowed three hours of recreation a day, the U.S. Army announced this afternoon.

The announcement came at the end of a morning press tour of the facility here where Manning is being held.

NCR was part of the tour, which included about a dozen representatives from local, national, and international press organizations.

Manning was moved to the Joint Regional Correctional Facility here April 20 from the Marine brig in Quantico, Va. where he had been held since July, 2010.

The conditions of his imprisonment at Quantico spurred the wide-ranging protests. While at the Virginia facility, Manning was placed into solitary confinement for 23 hours each day and forced to wear only a suicide-proof smock each night.

The commandant of the Fort Leavenworth facility, Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton, said the suspected Army private’s new classification -- which “starts tomorrow morning” -- allows Manning to receive Army inspected mail freely, make phone calls, and meet with preapproved visitors.

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Prisoners at the facility are housed separately depending on whether they have or haven't faced trial. There are currently ten “pre-trial” prisoners at the facility, said Hilton. Each are placed in individual 80 square foot cells and are connected by a shared common room to three other cells.

During the tour of the six-month-old facility, members of the press were able to see its indoor recreation center, work rooms, outside recreation area, medical facilities, and an empty cell block which Army officials said was similar to the one where Manning is housed.

To continue reading the story, click here: WikiLeaks suspect now 'medium custody' prisoner

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