Chelsea Manning, currently serving a 35-year prison sentence at the US Disciplinary Barracks at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, for espionage, now faces "indefinite solitary confinement after being charged with having prohibited materials in prison, one of her lawyers told BuzzFeed News on Wednesday."
ACLU attorney Chase Strangio told BuzzFeed News that he is yet to see the charging document — and BuzzFeed News has not reviewed any documentation of the new charges. An Army spokesman did not respond to a request for the charging document and comment on the charges.The list of charges, which are absolutely absurd, is included in this petition to the government requesting Manning not be relegated to indefinite solitary confinement, which should be, by any reasonable definition, cruel and unusal punishment for any crime, no less minor violations like contraband and "disrespect."
...Strangio noted that the charges have been brought against Manning by military officials at the prison and stated that Manning will have a hearing on the charges on August 18.
"Here Chelsea is at risk of losing various support networks simply because she had an expired tube of toothpaste, the Vanity Fair magazine that featured Caitlyn Jenner and requested a lawyer when she felt she was being accused of misconduct," Strangio told BuzzFeed News of the charges.
...Among the materials that DiPasquale told BuzzFeed News were confiscated from Manning are The Advocate and Out magazines; an issue of Cosmopolitan with an interview of Manning; Transgender Studies Quarterly; and a novel about transgender issues, A Safe Girl to Love.
According to the petition, the alleged misconduct that led to Manning requesting to speak with her lawyer related to her "sweeping some food onto the floor." The petition states that a charge of "improper medicine use" resulted from Manning having the expired tube of toothpaste.
"Given the materials that were confiscated, it is concerning that the military and Leavenworth might be taking action for the purpose of chilling Chelsea's speech or even with the goal of silencing her altogether by placing her in solitary," Strangio wrote. "Hopefully with public scrutiny the prison will respond by dismissing these charges and ensuring that she is not unfairly targeted based on her activism, her identity, and her pending lawsuit."