Chelsea Manning is dealing — on top of other stress — with a lack of medical care for her gender transition and imprisoning in an all-male prison, and tried to commit suicide earlier this month. As punishment, the government is considering administering the cruel and unusual punishment of up to 30 years of solitary confinement.
She got 35 years for what is, arguably, whistleblowing. During her trial she was held in torturous conditions, in solitary confinement, for eleven months that started in May of 2010. According to Juan Mendez, who is in charge of the United Nations department that investigates allegations of torture worldwide, “”The 11 months under conditions of solitary confinement (regardless of the name given to his regime by the prison authorities) constitutes at a minimum cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in violation of article 16 of the convention against torture. If the effects in regards to pain and suffering inflicted on Manning were more severe, they could constitute torture.”
Last year, they tried to put her in solitary confinement AGAIN. But it didn’t happen. Why? Because 100,000 people like you stood up and signed a petition saying, “Not in my country.”
But they are trying to do it again. Indefinitely — which may be up to 30 years of solitary confinement. In our country. In the United States of America. For being so bankrupt of hope and wherewithal to face tomorrow that she tried to commit suicide, they will force her to live in torture for thirty years.
1) Resisting the force cell move team (Chelsea was unconscious when this team arrived, which makes this charge particularly absurd.)
2) Prohibited property (For the items she used to attempt to take her own life.)
3) Conduct which threatens (For somehow putting the prison at risk while attempting to take her own life, quietly, in her own cell.)
And even now she is still being denied medical treatment for her gender dysphoria, and she is forced to live out her days in an all-male prison.
Chelsea is a transgender woman being forced to serve out her sentence in an all-male prison, which is in itself dehumanizing and exhausting emotionally. She is currently being denied medical treatment for her gender dysphoria, which experts have stated is the only course of treatment through which she would no longer be suicidal.
Suicide rates among transgender individual stand at 40%, and they are exacerbated by discrimination and physical abuse. And that’s outside of prison. Inside of prison — in an all male prison…we already know what the reputation is for men. It would be worse for a transgender women — where the sexual assault rate is already a nightmare outside of prison.
Making her punishment worse by putting her in solitary confinement cannot be tolerated in the United States of America. We’re better than this. We have to be better than this. She needs to be put in a prison that fits her gender, to be accommodated for all her personal needs, and to be given the freedom to do with her life as she pleases — but first, we need to make her life liveable.
This threat of solitary confinement cannot happen. We can make sure this does not happen. We have done it before. We can do it again.
Make your voice heard. Tell the government that cruel and unusual punishment is not tolerated here by signing this petition.
Thank you for reading.