Sunday, March 09, 2014

Free Chelsea Manning Now

 Dear Friends,
Please see below a letter to the military authority supporting Chelsea Manning’s demand to receive hormone therapy.
The Pvt Manning Support Network have advised us that as of last week the military had eight more days to give an official determination to the petition for Chelsea to get the hormone therapy (this process began in November).
According to Chelsea’s lawyer, David Combs (who is handling this part of the legal case) the lower level brass have had a positive attitude towards the petition whereas the top brass will make the final decision.
There is a good case for winning this, because the Federal law mandates transgender treatment.  But the military may not want to set a precedent ie to pay for transgender therapy/surgery. There is a legal case planned with a Federal judge if there is no response this week.
Please see Pvt Manning website for updates on this. In the meantime, if you want to add your signature to our letter to Col. Sioban Ledwith or write your own please note that letters have to be sent by post.
Free Chelsea Manning!
Lori Nairne
Queer Strike

Col. Sioban Ledwith, Commander
U.S. Detention Barracks
1301 N Warehouse Rd
Ft. Leavenworth KS 66027
RE: Hormone therapy treatment for Pvt. Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley Manning) (8929)
28 February  2014
Dear Col. Ledwith,
We are writing to you in support of Pvt Manning’s request for hormone therapy treatment and for her self-identity as “Chelsea Manning” to be acknowledged within the detention facilities.
We understand that obstacles preventing Private Manning from exercising her right to this treatment are not medical but administrative.  We understand that you have the power to remove these obstacles. We call on you to end a situation where a detainee under your supervision faces discrimination in the exercise of her human rights as a transgender woman.
For many years transgender people have campaigned for recognition of their gender and their right to live free from discrimination and violence.  In recent years, transgender people’s rights have become more universally acknowledged and assumed, including within the armed forces. Currently, at least ten countries do not discriminate against transgender people doing military service. 
The same is true for the rights of people in prison.  The UN Handbook on prisoners with special needs  outlines human rights standards for the treatment of transgender people in prison:
Everyone deprived of liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person … Sexual orientation and gender identity are integral to each person's dignity.(1)
In the USA, the US Bureau of Prisons which governs 119 federal institutions has a policy stating that inmates who have "gender dysphoria" are entitled to receive the healthcare services they need. Since 2011, this policy also covers inmates who have not benefitted from those services before their incarceration. (2)
We therefore urge you to ensure that Pvt Manning is immediately given access to the hormone therapy she has requested; that she immediately be known by the name and gender she wants; and that the legal process of her identity change be completed without delay.
Yours sincerely
Lori Nairne,  Queer Strike                       Ben Martin, Payday Men's Network         
PO Box 14512, SF, CA. 94114               PO Box 287 London NW6 5QU   
Black Orchid Collective, Seattle, US
FreeChelseManningNet, Berlin, Germany
Freedom Socialist Party, US
F*WORD, a project of the Resource Center for Nonviolence, Santa Cruz, CA Gay Liberation Network, Chicago, USGlobal Women’s Strike UK/US
Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club Executive Board, San Francisco, US
Hella 503 Collective, Portland, Oregon, US
LAGAI -- Queer Insurrection, San Francisco Bay Area, USLegal Action for Women UK/US
Left Front Art, UK
MolinoGroup – Theatre and Performance Collective, UK
Occupy SF Action Council, San Francisco, US
Peace for the Streets by Kids from the Streets (PSKS), Seattle, US
Prof. Dean Spade, Seattle University School of Law, US
Queer+ Friends of Chelsea Manning, London, UKQueer Qumbia Qrew, US
Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism (QUIT!), San Francisco Bay Area, US
Radical Women, US Section
Rita Addessa, Executive Director (retired), PA Lesbian & Gay Task Force, Philadelphia, US
Sin Barras, Santa Cruz, US
Sylvia Rivera Law Project, USWomen of Colour in the Global Women’s Strike UK/US
U.S. Citizens for Peace & Justice, Rome, Italy
Veteran Artists, Stephen Funk Creative Director, San Francisco, US
1)     SOURCE: UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Handbook on Prisoners with Special Needs, March 2009, available at: 

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