Chelsea Manning ends hunger strike after military grants gender transition surgery

© Elijah Nouvelage
Less than a week after US Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning began a hunger strike to protest her treatment behind bars, Army officials conceded and agreed to provide her with the gender transition surgery she demanded.

Chase Strangio, Manning’s attorney, announced that Chelsea Manning will receive the gender transition surgery her psychologist recommended she receive, BuzzFeed reported.

In a statement provided by Strangio, Manning said, “I am unendingly relieved that the military is finally doing the right thing. I applaud them for that. This is all that I wanted – for them to let me be me.

On Friday, Manning began a hunger strike in response to not receiving treatment for her gender dysphoria and bullying she experienced from prison and military officials.

In a statement emailed to RT from Strangio, Manning wrote, “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.

Until I am shown dignity and respect as a human again, I shall endure this pain before me,” Manning added.

Luckily, she received written assurances from the Army that she will receive all the medically prescribed recommendations, including her surgery. On Tuesday, Strangio told BuzzFeed that the military had determined that she qualified for the Department of Defense’s In-Service Transition for Transgender Service Members.

Under Department of Defense Instruction 1300.28, “service members with a diagnosis from a military medical provider indicating that gender transition is medically necessary, will be provided medical care and treatment for the diagnosed medical condition.

Thankfully the government has recognized its constitutional obligation to provide Chelsea with the medical care that she needs and we hope that they will act without delay to ensure that her suffering does not needlessly continue,” Strangio told BuzzFeed in a statement.

Unfortunately, this does not guarantee smooth sailing for Manning who still faces charges related to her suicide attempt in July. Her attempt to take her own life resulted in charges that could result in her spending the rest of her 35-year sentence in solitary confinement.

READ MORE: Free Chelsea: 115k petition to drop suicide charges for whistleblower Manning

While the Army has guaranteed that they will provide Manning her surgery, they did not say when they would do so.