Ocasio-Cortez says Manafort should not be held in solitary at Rikers

WASHINGTON — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., does not want President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort to be held in solitary confinement, she said in a Wednesday morning tweet.

Ocasio-Cortez was responding to a to a New York Times report that Manafort may be held in solitary confinement at the Rikers Island jail in New York. 

Noting that the notorious prison was located in her district, the freshman representative called solitary confinement a “license for gov torture and human rights violations.” 

“Manafort should be released, along with all people being held in solitary,” she continued.

On Tuesday, sources familiar with the matter told the Associated Press that Manafort would soon be transferred to Rikers Island jail while awaiting trial on state fraud charges. The New York Times first reported the pending transfer, saying that Manafort would likely be entering solitary confinement once his transfer was complete.

Manafort had been held in solitary confinement while awaiting a separate federal trial.

The former Trump campaign chairman was sentenced in March to seven and a half years in federal prison on charges related to his foreign lobbying efforts. His prosecution was the result of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation . 

Soon after, the state of New York unsealed a 16-count indictment alleging Manafort committed fraud on mortgage applications.

Ocasio-Cortez has been previously outspoken about solitary confinement, calling the practice “torture” in an April tweet in which she called for former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning’s release from solitary and a ban on extended solitary confinement. 

Contributing: The Associated Press

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