October 2, 2020 | News | No Comments
Following a disciplinary review hearing which took place Thursday, U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning confirmed early Friday morning she has been sentenced to solitary confinement for attempting to take her own life while serving a 30-year prison sentence at Ft. Leavenworth prison in Kansas.
The attempted suicide took place in July and, according to Fight for the Future, a group which has advocated on her behalf, followed “years of the government systematically denying her access to medically recommended treatment for gender dysphoria, and previous threats of solitary confinement following minor prison ‘infractions,’ including possession of mislabeled general research materials that Chelsea used for article writing and an expired tube of toothpaste.”
Earlier this month, as Common Dreams reported, Manning ended a five-day hunger strike after the military finally agreed to provide her with gender transition surgery as well as other medically prescribed treatments.
In 2013, Manning was convicted by a military court for passing military and government documents to the media outlet Wikileaks, many of which contained evidence of possible war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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Manning’s attorney, the ACLU’s Chase Strangio, confirmed the sentence of solitary confinement in a tweet Friday:
Following the ruling, Manning released the following statement to supporters:
In addition to supporters who have railed against the military’s treatment of Manning while incarcerated at Ft. Leavenworth, a larger effort is being made to have her released from prison altogether.
As with other whistleblowers charged with criminal conduct for their alleged disclosures under the Obama administration—including Edward Snowden, Jeffrey Sterling, Thomas Drake, John Kiriakou, and others—Manning’s advocates argue she should received a presidential pardon.
“It should be beyond question at this point that the archive that Manning gave to WikiLeaks – and that was later published in part by the Guardian and New York Times – is one of the richest and most comprehensive databases on world affairs that has ever existed; its contribution to the public record at this point is almost incalculable,” wrote Trevor Timm, co-founder and the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, in an op-ed last week. “To give you an idea: in just the past month, the New York Times has cited Manning’s state department cables in at least five different stories. And that’s almost six years after they first started making headlines.”
Timm said it’s “past time the administration did the right thing,” and let her go.