Chelsea Manning Goes on Hunger Strike as Her Prison Pleas Are Ignored
“I need help. I am not getting any,” the WikiLeaks whistleblower wrote in a statement released Friday as she began refusing food to protest “bullying by prison and U.S. government” in the military facility where she is being held.
“I was driven to suicide by the lack of care for my gender dysphoria that I have been desperate for,” she elaborated, referring to a recent suicide attempt that, rather than alerting her keepers to her need for help, led to threats of punishment.
From The Intercept:
After attempting to commit suicide in July, Manning was informed by military officials that she was being investigated for “resisting the force cell move team,” “prohibited property,” and “conduct which threatens.” She is facing indefinite solitary confinement, or a return to maximum-security detention. … Manning also refused to “voluntarily cut or shorten her hair in any way.” Army officials repeatedly force Manning to cut her hair to “military standards” – an appearance that she says does not reflect her gender identity.
Human rights advocates have repeatedly raised concerns about Manning’s treatment in prison. After her arrest in 2010, she was subjected to solitary confinement for extended periods and repeatedly stripped naked in her cell. Her treatment was so bad that a State Department spokesperson spoke out against the Pentagon and described it as “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.”
Since her conviction, Manning has been repeatedly threatened with indefinite solitary confinement, for charges as frivolous as keeping an expired tube of toothpaste in her cell.
According to Manning’s statement Friday, she also filed a “do not resuscitate” letter with the prison’s medical team, which includes any attempt to force-feed her medically.
— Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata
If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.
Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.