Chelsea Manning, the convicted former private serving her 35-year sentence for leaking sensitive and secret government documents to WikiLeaks, could face indefinite solitary confinement for violating prison rules, her lawyer said.
Formerly known as Bradley Manning, the ex-intelligence analyst was arrested in 2013 on charges of espionage and other offenses for sending in excess of 700,000 classified government documents while he was stationed in Iraq. Currently imprisoned in the United States Disciplinary Barracks, a maximum-security military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, she leaked war logs, diplomatic cables and battlefield video to WikiLeaks in 2010.
Reading Material And Expired Toothpaste Tube Found
According to Fox News, the prison charges she has been accused of violating include having prohibited property – books and magazines – while under administrative segregation. These reading materials included a Vanity Fair issue featuring Caitlyn Jenner on the cover, The Advocate, Out magazine, a Cosmopolitan issue that featured an interview with Manning, Transgender Studies Quarterly and a novel titled “A Safe Girl to Love.”
In addition, Manning also had the books “Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy — The Many Faces of Anonymous” and “I am Malala” in her possession.
“There is certainly no security risk, and that could impinge on her free speech rights and attempt to silence her,” Manning’s attorney, Nancy Hollander, said.
Also found in her cell was an expired tube of toothpaste, which led to Manning being charged of “medicine misuse.”
Fight for the Future, an organization that is “dedicated to expanding the Internet’s transformative power for good,” launched a petition Wednesday. The group claims that Manning was charged with “disrespect,” “disorderly conduct,” “prohibited property” and “medicine misuse.”
“It is not uncommon in prisons to have charges that to the rest of us seem to be absurd,” Hollander said.
‘This Is Like Prison Disciplinary Infractions’
“Prisons are very controlled environments and they try to keep them very controlled and sometimes in that control they really go too far and I think that this is going too far.”
According to BuzzFeed, Manning is scheduled to appear in a sentence hearing on August 18.
“This is like prison disciplinary infractions in a civilian prison and there will be a hearing, but frankly it looks to me like harassment,” Hollander said.
“It appears to be an attempt to silence her. Chelsea writes quite a bit. She is vocal. Certainly its not a national security issue.”
The maximum penalty Manning faces is indefinite solitary confinement.
According to NewsWeek, Freedom of the Press, a San Francisco non-profit organization, had established a donation page to raise funds for Manning’s legal fees. Nearly $160,000 has been raised since, with $60,000 contributed by journalist Glenn Greenwald and his employer, First Look Media.
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