Sam Archie: On 17 January, in one of his last acts as US president, Barack Obama commuted Chelsea Manning’s sentence from 35 years down to seven years. The transgender military whistleblower is now scheduled to be released on 17 May. (PN is holding a party at Housmans bookshop – see p10. )
Veterans for Peace UK said: ‘Among her achievements was to prove to other military personnel that they were correct to question the wars and entitled to refuse, resist and disobey.’
The executive director of the US Transgender Law Centre, Kris Hayashi, wrote: ‘In its treatment of Chelsea, a transgender woman, the United States government has proven it cannot detain transgender people humanely. The government tortured Chelsea by subjecting her to extended solitary confinement, denying her medical care, punishing her for attempting suicide, and forcing her to serve her time in an all-male prison.
‘Chelsea’s experience is all too common for TGNC [transgender and gender nonconforming] people in prison, particularly transgender women of colour. Chelsea has already served longer than any other whistleblower in United States history, and continued imprisonment would likely have been fatal for her. It is time for Chelsea to come home and be free of abusive confinement.’