Contact: Christina DiPasquale, 202.716.1953, Christina@fitzgibbonmedia.com
Conviction Can Be Used Against Manning During Any Clemency or Parole Hearing Forever; Expects to Delay Transition to Minimum Security Custody By Years
Today, Chelsea Manning called supporters from prison to inform them that the U.S. Army found her guilty of all four "charges," which include possession of LGBTQ reading material like the Caitlyn Jenner issue of Vanity Fair, and having a tube of expired toothpaste in her cell. She received 21 days of recreational restrictions, excluding her from time in the gym, library and outdoors. Now that they convictions are on her record, they can be cited in future hearings concerning parole or clemency. Manning expects the convictions to delay her transition to minimum security custody status by years.
Chase Strangio, Chelsea’s attorney at the ACLU, said:
"When I spoke to Chelsea earlier today she wanted to convey the message to supporters that she is so thankful for the thousands of people from around the world who let the government know that we are watching and scrutinizing what happens to her behind prison walls. It was no doubt this support that kept her out of solitary confinement. But the fact that Chelsea had to face today’s four-hour Disciplinary Board without counsel, and will now be punished for daring to share her voice, sets a concerning precedent for the remaining decades of her incarceration. Not only does this punishment mean the immediate loss of library and recreation for Chelsea, but she also will carry these infractions through her parole and clemency process and will be held longer in the more restrictive custody where she is now incarcerated. No one should have to face the lingering threat of solitary confinement for reading and writing about the conditions we encounter in the world. Chelsea’s voice is critical to our public discourse about government accountability and trans Justice and we can only preserve it if we stay vigilant in our advocacy on her behalf."
Chelsea Manning faced a possible maximum penalty of indefinite solitary confinement and petitions signed by 100,000 were delivered today by digital rights group Fight for the Future, RootsAction.org, Demand Progress, and CodePink.
Photos of petition delivery: http://imgur.com/a/IKtWF
Evan Greer, Campaign Director of Fight for the Future, said:
"People around the world are outraged that a courageous whistleblower like Chelsea Manning is imprisoned in the first place, so it’s no surprise that people spoke out in droves when the U.S. government threatened her. More than 100,000 supporters signed a petition demanding no solitary confinement for Chelsea, and the pressure worked. It’s absurd that Chelsea was found guilty, and that she has to endure any additional punishment beyond being wrongly imprisoned, but now the U.S. government knows that the world is watching their treatment of Chelsea closely. If they continue this unwarranted harassment of Chelsea, they risk losing all legitimacy in the eyes of millions.”
The charges were first revealed at FreeChelsea.com, and Manning has since posted the original charging documents to her twitter account here and here. She has also posted the complete list of confiscated reading materials here.