Chelsea Manning is protesting her treatment in prison by going on hunger strike, she has announced in a statement .
The 28-year-old soldier, born Bradley Edward Manning, is currently in an all-male prison serving a 35-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth in Leavenworth, Kansas, for leaking classified information to WikiLeaks.
In a statement released with Fight for the Future through her Twitter account, Manning said she was experiencing bullying and harassment and being denied medications for her gender transition.
“Chelsea is demanding written assurances from the Army she will receive all of the medically prescribed recommendations for her gender dysphoria and that the ‘high tech bullying’ will stop,” Fight for the Future said in the statement. “‘High tech bullying,’ is what Chelsea describes as ‘the constant, deliberate and overzealous administrative scrutiny by prison and military officials.’
“I need help,” Manning said. “I am not getting any. I have asked for help time and time again for six years and through five separate confinement locations. My request has only been ignored, delayed, mocked, given trinkets and lip service by the prison, the military, and this administration.”
Manning went on to say that her hunger strike with be a “peaceful and non-violent” act. And starting Friday at 12:01 a.m. CT, she said she plans to “refuse to voluntarily cut or shorten my hair in any way; consume any food or drink voluntarily, except for water and currently prescribed medications.”
“Until I am shown dignity and respect as a human again, I shall endure this pain before me,” she said in the statement. “I am prepared for this mentally and emotionally. I expect that this ordeal will last for a long time. Quite possibly until my permanent incapacitation or death. I am ready for this. I need help. Please, give me help.”
In 2013, Manning was found guilty of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks. The day after her sentencing, Manning confirmed through her lawyer that she identifies as a woman. She began her gender transition while in prison, although she had made appearances as a woman since as early as 2010.