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Statement of the American Civil Liberties Association (ACLU)
LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — Imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning received a document from Army officials today informing her that she is being investigated for serious new charges related to her July 5th attempt to take her own life.
If convicted of these “administrative offenses,” she could be placed in indefinite solitary confinement for the remainder of her decades-long sentence.
“It is deeply troubling that Chelsea is now being subjected to an investigation and possible punishment for her attempt to take her life. The government has long been aware of Chelsea's distress associated with the denial of medical care related to her gender transition and yet delayed and denied the treatment recognized as necessary,” said ACLU Staff Attorney Chase Strangio. “Now, while Chelsea is suffering the darkest depression she has experienced since her arrest, the government is taking actions to punish her for that pain. It is unconscionable and we hope that the investigation is immediately ended and that she is given the health care that she needs to recover.”
Since she was first taken into custody in 2010, Chelsea, a transgender woman being forced to serve out her sentence in an all-male prison, has been subjected to long stretches of solitary confinement and denied medical treatment related to her gender dysphoria.
These new charges, which Army employees verbally informed Chelsea were related to the July 5th incident, include, “resisting the force cell move team;” “prohibited property;” and “conduct which threatens.” If convicted, Chelsea could face punishment including indefinite solitary confinement, reclassification into maximum security, and an additional nine years in medium custody. They may negate any chances of parole.
“The U.S. government’s treatment of Chelsea is a travesty. Those in charge should know that the whole world is watching, and we won’t stand idly by while this administration continues to harass and abuse Chelsea Manning,” said Fight for the Future campaign director Evan Greer. The group advocates for civil liberties and free speech and collected more than 100,000 signatures last year when the Army threatened Chelsea with solitary confinement for possession of LGBTQ reading material and an expired tube of toothpaste.
In addition to these new charges, The Army continues to deny Chelsea access to basic health care, including inadequate medical treatment after her suicide attempt.
Chelsea dictated the complete contents of the charge sheet to a supporter over the phone; the transcription can be found at: https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/chelsea-manning-charge-sheet
More about the case can be found at: https://www.aclu.org/cases/manning-v-hagel-et-al
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