Transgender Law Center executive director Kris Hayashi issued the following statement about the news today that President Obama has commuted Chelsea Manning’s sentence:
“We thank President Obama for recognizing that Chelsea Manning deserves to be free. 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 to common for TGNC people in prison, particularly transgender women of color. 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.”
Last month, Transgender Law Center joined Chelsea’s lawyers at the American Civil Liberties Union, along with several other LGBT organizations, in a letter calling on President Obama to grant Chelsea Manning clemency: https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-and-lgbt-groups-call-obama-grant-clemency-chelsea-manning.
Chelsea Manning was sentenced to 35 years in an all-male prison for releasing classified information with the intention of raising public awareness around the impact of war on innocent civilians. She is serving the seventh year of that sentence, and with this action by President Obama, she will reportedly be released in May 2017.