Private Chelsea Manning May Face Solitary Confinement

Former Army Private Chelsea Manning has new charges of prison infractions levied against her. Manning faces risks of solitary confinement for an indefinite period if found guilty in the hearing scheduled for August 18.

Manning is currently serving a prison sentence of 35 years for leaking classified government documents to Wikileaks. The documents exposed many government injustices and abuse of power.

Manning is currently imprisoned in the maximum-security United States Disciplinary Barracks at Leavenworth, Kansas. With new charges levied against her, she faces the possibility of additional punishment.

Civil liberty and internet freedom advocating website, Fight for the Freedom, launched a petition on Wednesday. The petition points out the irrationality and unfairness of the charges filed against Chelsea Manning.

Charges against Chelsea include “disrespect” shown to prison authorities, possession of “prohibited property,” “medicine misuse,” and “disorderly conduct.”

According to the petition, the charges against Manning are a violation of her human rights. Manning made a request to allow her hearing to be public, but this appeal was immediately turned down.

Chelsea Manning allegedly swept some food on the floor and in the process ended up nearly hitting a prison staff. When confronted about her “disorderly conduct,” Manning refused to talk without her lawyer.

Chelsea also allegedly interrupted the correctional specialist suggesting that he was accusing her. The prison has interpreted this as “disrespect” and termed Manning’s behavior as “contemptuous.”

One week post this incident, Manning’s cell underwent an inspection. Former Private Chelsea Manning allegedly possessed “prohibited property” consisting mainly of magazines and books.

Magazines included an issue of Vanity Fair featuring Caitlyn Jenner as the cover girl, Cosmopolitan, The Advocate and Out. Other confiscated material included a copy of Transgender Studies Quarterly and a novel called A Safe Girl to Love focusing primarily on trans issues.

Manning also had other books, namely, Hoaxer, Hacker, Spy—The Many Faces of Anonymous, I Am Malala, Whistleblower, and the works of Robert Dorkin. Everything got confiscated including several legal documents and a copy of the U.S. torture report.

Manning was also charged with “medicine misuse” for possessing a tube of anti-cavity toothpaste that had run past of its expiration date.

The website is urging citizens to sign up the petition and to share it with others. This is the only way Chelsea Manning can have a fair public hearing.

The maximum punishment Manning can receive for all the charges includes indefinite solitary confinement. According to the petition, solitary confinement is a terrible form of “psychological torture.”

[Photo By: T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images New]