This morning Chelsea Manning supporters delivered more than 115,000 petition signatures to the Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning, calling for him to drop serious new charges faced by Ms. Manning as a direct result of her attempt to take her own life on July 5th. The petitions call for the military to provide Chelsea with adequate and humane treatment for both her gender dysphoria and her suicide attempt.
On a press call following the delivery, Chelsea’s attorney at the ACLU, Chase Strangio, said: “Chelsea’s access to mental health care has been inconsistent. It is an ongoing concern of her attorneys and supporters that she is not getting adequate mental health care, particularly in light of the external forces that are destabilizing her mental health, like the service of these administrative charges against her and the ongoing investigation of those charges. It seems like the government is doing everything in their power to make her physical and mental condition worsen. Punishment for these charges could not only result in significant punishment, including indefinite solitary confinement, but also loss of access to the very things that connect Chelsea’s voice with the world.”
Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, said, “No harm has resulted from Chelsea Manning’s disclosures. Not giving her the proper medical treatment and then adding on these charges for her suicide attempt would seem designed to break her down as a human being. These charges appear to me to be sadistic and outrageous.”
Ms. Manning attempted to take her own life in July after years of mistreatment in prison, and now the U.S. government is threatening to punish her further with serious new charges directly related to her suicide attempt, which could lead to her being placed in indefinite solitary confinement, among other consequences. The 115,000 petition signatures came from petitions launched by grassroots activist groups supporting Chelsea: Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, RootsAction, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, and Care2.
Last year, a similar petition effort helped draw attention to Chelsea’s situation when she faced solitary confinement for minor prison “infractions” including possession of an expired tube of toothpaste.
This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license.