August 12, 2015
Aside from her 35-year prison sentence, Chelsea Manning is now facing indefinite solitary confinement to be determined in a hearing next Tuesday, August 18.
Worse yet, Chelsea faces this incomprehensibly severe punishment as a result of ridiculously innocuous institutional offenses, including the possession of books and magazines related to politics and LBGTQ issues (which she received openly via the prison mail system), and having a tube of toothpaste that was past its expiration date (apparently deemed “medical mis-use”). The catalyst for this attack on Chelsea seems to have been an incident in the mess hall where she may have pushed, brushed, or accidentally knocked, a small amount of food off of her table. She then asked to speak to her lawyer when confronted by a guard. The absurd charges were tacked on later.
These charges obviously could never justify indefinite solitary confinement- one of worst forms of psychological torture. Chelsea is now regularly publishing op-eds in the Guardian newspaper, and recently won the ability to begin hormone therapy by threatening to sue the military. It’s clear this is an attempt to silence Chelsea’s voice.
Our friends at Fight for the Future (FFTF) have created a petition where you can sign on to a letter condemning the US Army’s treatment of Chelsea.
Chelsea requested that her hearing be open to the press- but she was denied. If it’s not open to the public and the press, there will be no way to ensure that Chelsea isn’t unfairly subjected to one of the worst forms of psychological torture.
Below is an actual list of the charges that were sent to Chelsea (emphasis added).
Here’s the list of books and magazines that were taken from Chelsea and not returned: Vanity Fair issue with Caitlyn Jenner on the cover, Advocate, OUT Magazine, Cosmopolitan issue with an interview of Chelsea, Transgender Studies Quarterly, novel about trans issues “A Safe Girl to Love,” book “Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy — The Many Faces of Anonymous,” book “I Am Malala,” 5 books by Robert Dorkin, legal documents including the Senate Torture Report, book: “Hidden Qualities that Make Us Influential.”
“Given the materials that were confiscated, it is concerning that the military and Leavenworth might be taking action for the purpose of chilling Chelsea’s speech or even with the goal of silencing her altogether by placing her in solitary,” ACLU attorney Chase Strangio wrote. “Hopefully with public scrutiny the prison will respond by dismissing these charges and ensuring that she is not unfairly targeted based on her activism, her identity, and her pending lawsuit.”
There are now 180 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails on open hunger strike and hundreds more set to begin striking on Tuesday, 11 August. The wave of strikes was initiated after Israeli special forces attacked Palestinian prisoners in Nafha, injuring 30 prisoners in a violent nighttime raid, including Ahmad Sa’adat, Palestinian political leader and General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Groups of prisoners were isolated and transferred from Nafha and Palestinian prisoners launched a campaign of resistance.
For more information about Amer’s case as well as a recorded statement by Amer on his sentencing, see freeamer.wordpress.com.
Please remember to send e-mails and faxes between Monday, August 10 and Wednesday, August 12, to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights as well as the Jordanian Cabinet members listed below.
Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al Hussein
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Fax: (41 22) 917 0008 (If faxing from US: 011-41-22-917-0008)
Prime Minister and Defense Minister
Fax number 962-6-464-2520 (If faxing from US: 011-962-6-464-2520)
Minister of Interior
Fax number 962-6-560-6908 (If faxing from US: 011-962-6-560-6908)
Minister of Justice
Fax number 962-6-464-3197 If faxing from US: 011-962-6-464-3197)
The 4th Annual NYC ‘Fight the Good Fight’ – a day of rejuvenation in honor of Dr. Mutulu Shakur
Sunday, August 16th
11:30am – 5:30pm
40 Exchange Place, 3rd Floor, Manhattan
J/Z to Broad Street, 2/3 or 4/5 to Wall Street
Book an appointment for acupuncture or massage for yourself or as a gift for someone who deserves it. Through his revolutionary work with Lincoln Detox, Black Advisory Association of North America and the Harlem Institute of Acupuncture, Dr. Shakur utilized acupuncture to not only heal but also empower. In honor of this legacy, Dr. Shakur’s former student Dr. Shadidi Kinsey and licensed acupuncturist Margie Navarro will provide acupuncture for sliding scale donations of $20- $60. Licensed massage therapist Sherley Accime will provide Kan’Yah Afro-Caribbean Bodywork also for $20 – $60 sliding scale. Donations are tax-deductible & support Dr. Shakur’s legal defense, commissary essentials, and projects promoting justice for the Black community. Since space is limited, so follow the link below to register for schedule an acupuncture or massage appointment:
Birthday Party for Dr. Mutulu Shakur
at PEACE Health Center
Friday, August 21st
582 Halsey Street, Brooklyn
A/C to Utica or J/Z to Gates; B26 or B46 buses
Please join us for an evening of live jazz by the Donald Smith trio, plus a 70′s set by DJ Jah Medicine, and dancing in celebration of the birth and struggle of Dr. Mutulu Shakur. Food (vegetarian options) and beverages (alcoholic and non) available by donation. Brief presentations will be made by Family & Friends of Mutulu Shakur and the PEACE Health Center.
Tomorrow, Saturday, May 30th, over 5 thousand people will gather in New York City for “One Voice for Oscar López,” a national march and rally to demand the release of Puerto Rican activist and icon Oscar López, a 72-year-old decorated Vietnam veteran who begins his 34th year in prison on May 29th despite having never been charged with any violent crime. He has served 12 of those years in complete, total isolation.