Those supporting whistle blower Chelsea Manning are hoping President Obama will pardon her as a final act in office.
Manning was convicted of violating the Espionage Act in July 2013 after leaking millions of documents to Wikileaks. The documents showed mistreatment of civilians and other missteps by the US government during the Iraq war and beyond. Transparency advocates have praised manning for her work, but she’s been in a federal prison since 2010.
“Chelsea has already served more time in prison than any individual in United States history who disclosed information in the public interest,” reads the request. “Her disclosures harmed no one.”
The facility Manning has been kept at has also come under fire for how its treated the prisoner. Manning came out as trans while locked up but has remained in a men’s ward. She has also reportedly been denied hormone treatment. Furthering the issue, a deep depression lead to a suicide attempt which put Manning into solitary confinement where allies believe her mental state has worsened.
“President Obama, as you and the medical community have recognized, prisoners who face solitary confinement are more likely to commit suicide,” the plea reads. “Chelsea is a woman in a men’s facility facing ongoing mistreatment. She has attempted suicide and has been punished with additional time in solitary confinement for her desperation. Her life is at risk and you can save her.”
“Please commute Chelsea Manning’s sentence to time served.”
The WhiteHouse.org petition system was created by Obama to give citizen the chance to get issues discussed despite attention from the media or otherwise. The administration has agreed in the past to address any petition that reaches the 100,000 signature goal, which Manning’s has surpassed.
There’s been no word from Obama on the pardon, though allies believe Trump, who has advocated torture and other violations of the UN’s war provisions, will be even less sympathetic to her cause.