- Joshua Roberts/Reuters
- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez argued on Wednesday that Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump‘s former campaign chairman, shouldn’t be placed in solitary confinement at Rikers Island jail in New York City.
- Ocasio-Cortez, whose Bronx-Queens district contains Rikers Island, argued that solitary confinement is a form of torture, and thus a human rights violation.
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez argued on Wednesday that Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump‘s former campaign chairman, shouldn’t be placed in solitary confinement at Rikers Island jail in New York City.
Manafort is scheduled to be transferred to Rikers Island, which is located in Ocasio-Cortez’s Bronx-Queens district, in the coming weeks as he awaits trial on New York State mortgage fraud charges. The New York Times reported Tuesday that Manafort will be held in isolation, known as protective custody, at Rikers.
Manafort is considered a “high profile” inmate, and is therefore being held away from other inmates in heavily-guarded protective custody.
“A prison sentence is not a license for [government] torture and human rights violations. That’s what solitary confinement is,” she wrote. “Manafort should be released, along with all people being held in solitary.”
Paul Manafort is being sent to solitary confinement in my district – Rikers Island.
A prison sentence is not a license for gov torture and human rights violations. That‘s what solitary confinement is.
Manafort should be released, along with all people being held in solitary. https://t.co/9rERLDSzrD
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 5, 2019
Manafort is currently serving a more than seven-year federal prison sentence in Pennsylvania after being convicted of federal bank fraud, tax fraud, and conspiracy.
The Manhattan District Attorney initiated a case in March that resulted in a grand jury indicting Manafort on 16 counts of fraud-related felony charges, including mortgage fraud, falsifying business documents, and conspiracy. Manafort is set to be arraigned in New York later this month.
Grace Panetta contributed to this report.