ACLU & LGBT Groups Call on President Obama to Grant Clemency to Chelsea Manning

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Andy Stepanian, 631.291.3010, andy@sparrowmedia.net

ACLU & LGBT Groups Call on President Obama to Grant Clemency to Chelsea Manning

WASHINGTON - The American Civil Liberties Union and over a dozen LGBT groups sent a letter to President Barack Obama today urging the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence for disclosing classified information to the media to raise public awareness regarding the impact of war on innocent civilians. Manning is in the seventh year of a 35-year sentence.

Ian Thompson, ACLU legislative representative, offered the following statement:

“Ms. Manning is the longest serving whistleblower in the history of the United States. Granting her clemency petition will give Ms. Manning a first chance to live a real, meaningful life as the person she was born to be.”

The letter reads, “Manning, a transgender woman who is being forced to serve out her sentence in an all-male prison, has been subjected to long stretches of solitary confinement – including for attempting suicide – and denied necessary medical treatment related to her gender dysphoria. The Army even opposed her request to use her legal name and to be referred to by female pronouns. While the armed forces have finally opened the door to transgender men and women who wish to serve, the government has continually fought Ms. Manning’s efforts to be treated with basic dignity.”

The following groups signed the letter:

American Civil Liberties Union

BiNet USA

COLAGE

Family Equality Council

FORGE, Inc.

GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders

Immigration Equality

KhushDC

Lambda Legal

League of United Latin American Citizens

A free and independent press is essential to the health of a functioning democracy

Los Angeles LGBT Center

National Black Justice Coalition

National Center for Lesbian Rights

National LGBTQ Task Force

National Organization for Women

Pride at Work

Transgender Law Center

The letter can be found here: https://www.aclu.org/letter/support-clemency-application-ms-chelsea-manning

A petition on the White House’s “We the People” platform, asking President Obama to commute Chelsea Manning’s sentence to time served, has garnered over 40,000 signatures. Last week, Amnesty International sent a letter to President Obama also supporting that Chelsea Manning’s sentence be commuted to the time she has already served in prison. 

For more information, please visit: https://www.freechelsea.com

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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