Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning begins hunger strike in prison protest
US Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning is now on a hunger strike as she serves a 35-year sentence in relation to leaking thousands of military cables related to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. "I need help," she says to stop bullying she has faced in prison.
It was reportedly confirmed through Manning's lawyer, Chase Stragio of the American Civil Liberties Union.
“I have asked for help time and time again for six years and through five separate confinement locations. My request has only been ignored, delayed, mocked, given trinkets and lip service by the prison, the military, and this administration,” Manning said.
In an emailed statement to RT from Manning's publicist, Manning, formerly Bradley Manning, is said to be “demanding written assurances from the Army she will receive all of the medically prescribed recommendations for her gender dysphoria” and for “high tech bullying” to cease.
The “high tech bullying” Manning refers to includes “the constant, deliberate and overzealous administrative scrutiny by prison and military officials.”
Manning's entire statement through the Chelsea Manning Support Network is reprinted below:
I need help. I am not getting any. I have asked for help time and time again for six years and through five separate confinement locations. My request has only been ignored, delayed, mocked, given trinkets and lip service by the prison, the military, and this administration.
I need help. I needed help earlier this year. I was driven to suicide by the lack of care for my gender dysphoria that I have been desperate for. I didn’t get any. I still haven’t gotten any.
I needed help. Yet, instead I am now being punished for surviving my attempt. When I was a child, my father would beat me repeatedly for simply not being masculine enough. I was told to stop crying—to “suck it up.” But, I couldn’t stop crying. The pain just got worse and worse. Until finally, I just couldn’t take the pain anymore.
I needed help, but no one came then. No one is coming now.
Today, I have decided that I am no longer going to be bullied by this prison—or by anyone within the U.S. government. I have asked for nothing but the dignity and respect—that I once actually believed would be provided for—afforded to any living human being.
I do not believe that this should be dependent on any arbitrary factors—whether you are cisgender or transgender; service member or civilian, citizen or non-citizen. In response to virtually every request, I have been granted limited, if any, dignity and respect—just more pain and anguish.
I am no longer asking. Now, I am demanding. As of 12:01 am Central Daylight Time on September 9, 2016, and until I am given minimum standards of dignity, respect, and humanity, I shall—refuse to voluntarily cut or shorten my hair in any way; consume any food or drink voluntarily, except for water and currently prescribed medications; and comply with all rules, regulations, laws, and orders that are not related to the two things I have mentioned.
This is a peaceful act. I intend to keep it as peaceful and non-violent, on my end, as possible. Any physical harm that should come to me at the hands of military or civilian staff will be unnecessary and vendictive. I will not physically resist or in any way harm another person. I have also submitted a “do not resuscitate” letter that is effective immediately. This shall include any attempts to forcibly cut or shorten my hair or to forcibly feed me by any medical or pseudomedical means.
Until I am shown dignity and respect as a human again, I shall endure this pain before me. I am prepared for this mentally and emotionally. I expect that this ordeal will last for a long time. Quite possibly until my permanent incapacitation or death. I am ready for this.
I need help. Please, give me help.