'A Travesty': Chelsea Manning Faces New Charges After Suicide Attempt
'While Chelsea is suffering the darkest depression she has experienced since her arrest, the government is taking actions to punish her for that pain'
U.S. whistleblower Chelsea Manning may face additional charges and solitary confinement relating to a suicide attempt earlier this month, according to her attorneys.
The charges include "resisting the force cell move team," "conduct which threatens," and "prohibited property," the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said Thursday. If convicted, Manning could face nine extra years in medium custody, indefinite solitary confinement, and placement back into maximum security. She may also lose any chances of parole.
Manning is currently serving 35 years at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas military prison for helping WikiLeaks expose classified government and U.S. military documents in 2010. She confirmed her suicide attempt on July 8 after several days of being kept out of contact with her defense team.
As the ACLU noted, Manning, a transgender woman, has been denied healthcare and other rights while serving out her sentence in a male prison. Her attorneys say she has been denied additional medical treatment after her suicide attempt.
"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 Chase Strangio, ACLU staff attorney. "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."
Manning has previously been threatened with additional charges including indefinite solitary confinement for violations such as having an expired tube of toothpaste in her cell.
The new investigation comes as Manning continues to appeal the decades-long sentence her team calls "grossly unfair and unprecedented."
Evan Greer, campaign director at the digital rights group Fight for the Future, which has long advocated for Manning's release, said Thursday, "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."