Once punished over old toothpaste, Chelsea Manning could spend the next three decades in solitary confinement following her suicide attempt earlier this month. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, Manning has been informed she is under investigation for allegedly "resisting the force cell move team," "prohibited property," and "conduct which threatens" in connection with her July 5 suicide bid. If found guilty, her potential consequences include having to serve the remainder of her 35-year sentence in solitary confinement, being slapped with nine more years in custody, or getting transferred to a maximum security facility. It could also affect her chances of getting parole.
Activists say Manning has long been pained by a denial of medical care for her gender dysphoria, "which medical experts have clearly stated is the only course of treatment in which she would no longer be suicidal," according to civil liberties group Fight for the Future. "Now, while Chelsea is suffering the darkest depression she has experienced since her arrest, the government is taking actions to punish her for that pain," says an ACLU rep. "It is unconscionable." Earlier this year, Manning wrote about spending nine months in solitary confinement for the Guardian, noting, "within two weeks, I was already contemplating suicide." The UN has described Manning's treatment in prison as "cruel, inhuman, and degrading," reports the Intercept. (Read more Chelsea Manning stories.)