The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Nils Melzer, has sent a letter to the US government asserting that the imprisonment of Chelsea Manning for refusing to testify before a grand jury is “torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” When I first learned of this, I thought maybe the Rapporteur’s view would be tied specifically to Manning’s case. Maybe something particular about Manning’s mental health, previous imprisonment, etc. would account for his view. But it seems that the Rapporteur is making a much more general point:

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