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Chelsea Manning, Solitary Confinement, Torture…

Chelsea Manning is serving a 35-year sentence at the maximum-security U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth for information she leaked to Wikileaks. The leaks included the July 12 2007 Baghdad airstrikes.  Prior to her trial, Manning was confined for 11 months in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day.

 In early July 2015 Chelsea Manning was charged with crimes which carry a possible sentence of “indefinite solitary confinement”.

Below are three items

(1)   Chelsea Manning threatened with ‘indefinite solitary confinement’ …By at 3:28 pm Wed, Aug 12, 2015

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.,,,

(2)  Bradley Manning’s treatment was cruel and inhuman, UN torture chief rules …Pilkington Guardian March 2012

…”Juan Mendez has completed a 14-month investigation into the treatment of Manning since the soldier’s arrest at a US military base in May 2010. He concludes that the US military was at least culpable of cruel and inhumane treatment in keeping Manning locked up alone for 23 hours a day over an 11-month period in conditions that he also found might have constituted torture….

(3) Irishman’s extradition to US refused by Irish Judge  (May 2015)

The main points of objection to his extradition include grounds related to the conditions of detention in which it is alleged Mr Damache would be held if he was extradited to the US.

(1)   Chelsea Manning threatened with ‘indefinite solitary confinement’ …

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.

manning_charges51

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.

Background:
Newsweek: Chelsea Manning Faces Solitary Confinement
Trevor Timm: Chelsea Manning Threatened with ‘Indefinite Solitary Confinement’
BuzzFeed News: Chelsea Manning Faces Solitary Confinemen

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(2) Irishman’s extradition to US refused by Irish Judge  (May 2015)

….”The judge decided that “the institutionalisation of solitary confinement with its routine isolation from meaningful contact and communication with staff and other inmates, for a prolonged pre-determined period of at least 18 months and continuing almost certainly for many years, amounts to a breach of the constitutional requirement to protect persons from inhuman and degrading treatment and to respect the dignity of the human being.”……

(3)  Bradley Manning’s treatment was cruel and inhuman, UN torture chief rules (Pilkington Guardian March 2012)

…”Juan Mendez has completed a 14-month investigation into the treatment of Manning since the soldier’s arrest at a US military base in May 2010. He concludes that the US military was at least culpable of cruel and inhumane treatment in keeping Manning locked up alone for 23 hours a day over an 11-month period in conditions that he also found might have constituted torture.

“The special rapporteur concludes that imposing seriously punitive conditions of detention on someone who has not been found guilty of any crime is a violation of his right to physical and psychological integrity as well as of his presumption of innocence,” Mendez writes.

….

The findings of cruel and inhuman treatment are published as an addendum to the special rapporteur’s report to the UN general assembly on the promotion and protection of human rights. They are likely to reignite criticism of the US government’s harsh treatment of Manning ahead of his court martial later this year….

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