Chelsea Manning Is Punished For Suicide Attempt
On Friday, it was reported that Chelsea Manning would serve 14 days in solitary confiment for her suicide attempt. This past July, Manning, who is serving 35 years at Fort Leavenworth prison in Kansas after being convicted in 2013 for leaking sensitive government documents on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, attempted to commit suicide. She was subsequently charged with three counts of misconduct. According to The Guardian, two of those three counts could have resulted in indefinite solitary confinement.
Manning released a statement on the sentencing through Fight for the Future, a group that, according to its website, is "dedicated to protecting and expanding the Internet’s transformative power in our lives by creating civic campaigns that are engaging for millions of people" and currently serving as an advocacy source for Manning:
The term for this status is 'disciplinary segregation.' There is no set date set for this to start. After I receive the formal board results in writing, I have 15 days to appeal. I expect to get them in the next few days.
I am feeling hurt. I am feeling lonely. I am embarrassed by the decision. I don’t know how to explain it.
Following her suicide attempt, Manning began a hunger strike in September. It ended after a week when her request for the "medically prescribed treatment for her gender dysphoria," as the ACLU noted in its press release, was granted. At the time, Manning released a statement, “I am unendingly relieved that the military is finally doing the right thing. I applaud them for that. This is all that I wanted — for them to let me be me."
However, Manning also added in her statement:
But it is hard not to wonder why it has taken so long. Also, why were such drastic measures needed? The surgery was recommended in April 2016. The recommendations for my hair length were back in 2014. In any case, I hope this sets a precedent for the thousands of trans people behind me hoping they will be given the treatment they need.