Chelsea Manning, the former U.S. Army soldier convicted of leaking nearly a million classified and sensitive government cables to WikiLeaks, is being denied access to the legal library at Fort Leavenworth military prison, according to a tweet posted by her supporters. The news comes as Manning, 27, prepares for a disciplinary hearing that could result in her being sentenced to solitary confinement for unauthorized reading material and expired toothpaste.
The tweet, sent late Saturday night, is the latest insight into Manning's incarceration since she was sentenced to 35 years for leaking state secrets. Manning, who was born a man, Bradley Manning, is engaged in a contentious legal dispute with the U.S. Army over her treatment as a transgendered woman. Last week Manning's lawyer's announced she is facing indefinite solitary confinement for contraband, including the toothpaste and a recent issue of Vanity Fair magazine featuring Caitlyn Jenner on the cover.
Prison staff are now denying me access to the law library @ scheduled times--w/only 2 days until my board
— Chelsea Manning (@xychelsea) August 16, 2015
“Chelsea has a growing voice in the public discussion, and it would not surprise me were these charges connected to who she is,” Chase Strangio, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, told the Guardian Sunday.
Other reading materials confiscated from Manning's cell also included "a novel about transgender issues, the book 'Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy — The Many Faces of Anonymous,' the book 'I Am Malala,' an issue of Cosmopolitan magazine containing an interview with Manning and the U.S. Senate report on CIA torture,” the support network Free Chelsea Manning said in a statement last week.