Supporters of imprisoned intelligence leaker Chelsea Manning delivered a petition this week calling on the Army not to punish her for attempting suicide.
Manning, who is currently serving a 35-year prison sentence on Espionage Act violations for sending more than 700,000 classified documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, was briefly hospitalised on July 5 following a suicide attempt.
Army officials recently informed the imprisoned whistleblower that she is being investigated for new charges related to the attempt to take her own life. If convicted of these “administrative offences” she could be placed in indefinite solitary confinement for the remainder of her decades-long sentence at the Fort Leavenworth, Kansas military prison.
This comes on top of existing allegations that Manning, a transgender woman, has been denied healthcare and other rights while serving out her sentence in a male prison.
Former Pentagon analyst Daniel Ellsberg said, “No harm has resulted from Chelsea Manning’s disclosures. Not giving her the proper medical treatment and then adding on these charges for her suicide attempt would seem designed to break her down as a human being. These charges appear to me to be sadistic and outrageous.”
Supporters said they had gathered a petition with more than 115,000 signatures and given it to Army Secretary Eric Fanning, calling on him to drop the charges.