Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning, has reportedly filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Defense. In it, the Wikileaks leaker claims that she has been “denied access to medically necessary treatment” in connection with a gender disorder.
“She brings this action to compel defendants [Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and the federal government] to treat her serious medical needs consistent with their obligation under the Constitution,” says the suit, according to CNN. If the requests are denied, said Manning’s lawyers, she “will suffer continued pain, depression and anxiety and is at an extremely high risk of self-castration and suicidality.”
In August of 2013, Pvt. Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for supplying WikiLeaks with 700,000 classified documents in 2010. Manning was found guilty on charges under the Espionage Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and the code of military justice – but was spared the charge of “aiding the enemy”, the most serious of all the charges. If convicted of that crime, Manning could have face up the 90 years behind bars.
Shortly after her sentencing, Manning revealed that she was transgender, suffering from “gender dysphoria” – a condition in which a person does not identify with the sex assigned to them at birth. Soon, Manning began demanding treatment for the condition, including hormone therapy.
In July of this year, Manning’s request to be transferred to a civilian prison to begin treatment was approved – but according to the new lawsuit things have stalled. Or better yet, people are stalling.
“I have not yet seen their treatment plan, and in over eight months, I have not received any response as to whether the plan will be approved or disapproved, or whether it follows the guidelines of qualified health professionals,” says the lawsuit.
Manning also wishes to be able to grow out her hair and modify her dress to better express her gender identity.
The White House will reportedly address the lawsuit “in the coming weeks.”
Image via Wikimedia Commons