With just weeks left in his presidency, the call for U.S. President Barack Obama to grant clemency to U.S. military whistleblower Chelsea Manning continues to grow increasingly urgent.
On Monday, over a dozen advocacy groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Lambda Legal, and the National Organization for Women (NOW) sent a letter to the outgoing president reiterating the request that Manning’s sentenced be commuted to “time served,” as the military whistleblower is currently serving the seventh of a 35-year sentence “for disclosing classified information to the media with the intention of raising public awareness about issues she found concerning, including the impact of war on innocent civilians.”
The organizations, each of which is “dedicated to working for the full equality of LGBTQ people,” expressed concern that Manning, a transgender woman, is in danger due to the treatment she has received in detention, which includes solitary confinement and denial of necessary medical care.
“Since she was first taken into custody in 2010,” the letter states, “Ms. Manning, a transgender woman who is being forced to serve out her sentence in an all-male prison, has been subjected to long stretches of solitary confinement—including for attempting suicide—and denied necessary medical treatment related to her gender dysphoria. The Army even opposed her request to use her legal name and to be referred to by female pronouns.”
“While the armed forces have finally opened the door to transgender men and women who wish to serve,” the groups continue, “the government has continually fought Ms. Manning’s efforts to be treated with basic dignity.”
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT