October 3, 2020 | News | No Comments
Since news emerged last week that imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning is facing new criminal charges and further punishment from the U.S. Army for attempting suicide, public outcry has been swift.
Civil liberties group Fight for the Future has received over 30,000 signatures on a petition that demands the new charges be dropped and that Manning be provided with adequate healthcare.
A separate petition demanding that Manning be spared solitary confinement garnered over 2,000 signatures in a matter of hours.
Chase Strangio, one of Manning’s attorneys, said on Democracy Now! Wednesday that after her suicide attempt last month, Manning is “relieved to be alive.”
“It’s terrifying to think that as she survives, the government is continuing to give her the message that they will enforce punishment of her essentially for living,” Strangio said.
“Governments have so much power, and a single person often does not. It is very terrifying to face the government alone.”
—Chelsea ManningIndefinite solitary confinement, the punishment Manning is currently faced with for attempting suicide, would be “catastrophic for her mental health,” Strangio said, noting that the United Nations has said that solitary confinement can amount torture and should be banned.
Strangio is an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which is also engaged in a lawsuit with the Department of Defense over Manning’s treatment while incarcerated, including her placement in a male prison. Manning is transgender, and Strangio observed that the “perils and the damages of being forced to be punished through the denial of her core identity has led to her depression, has imperiled her health.”
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