Whistleblower Chelsea Manning, who is currently serving an unjust thirty-five year jail sentence and who has already been tortured under US military supervision, is now being threatened with “indefinite solitary confinement” for alleged infractions that are so minor it’s actually hard to believe.
Our friends at Fight For the Future have created a petition where you can sign on to a letter condemning the US Army’s treatment of Chelsea.
According to the Army, Chelsea swept food onto the floor in the prison mess hall (unclear if it was an accident or on purpose). Then, when pulled aside about the incident by a corrections officer afterwards, she said, among other things, “I want a lawyer.” Afterwards, prison officials found “prohibited” books and magazines in her cell, including the now famous Vanity Fair with Caitlyn Jenner on the cover. She was also charged with having “expired toothpaste” in her possession. For this, she faces “indefinite solitary confinement.”
This may sound like an exaggeration, but it’s not. Below are the actual charges, word for word, from the Army.
Solitary confinement, as even Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy recently wrote, is a barbaric punishment that can drive prisoners mad—yet thousands of prisoners are subject to it in the United States per year. As Fight For the Future states, even if these charges against Manning are 100% true, it is no reason to throw a person in solitary confinement for an indefinite period and is a violation of anyone’s human rights – whether they are a whistleblower or anyone else.
It should go without saying that the Army should drop these frivolous charges immediately.
We are taking donations to Chelsea Manning’s legal fund as she tries to fight her conviction under the Espionage Act. You can donate here.