Transgender soldier ends hunger strike
IMPRISONED transgender soldier Chelsea Manning ended a hunger strike after five days when the US Army agreed to provide surgery to treat her gender dysphoria, her representatives said.
The move is a major milestone not just for Ms Manning but also for the US military, which in June announced it would begin allowing openly transgender people to serve, and would cover their medical expenses.
Ms Manning started a hunger strike on September 9 to protest what she said was the military’s refusal to treat her condition, and for forcing her to keep her hair short.
“I am relieved that the military is finally doing the right thing,” Ms Manning said in a statement released by the American Civil Liberties Union, which sued the Pentagon in 2014 over Ms Manning’s medical treatment.
Originally called Bradley, Ms Manning was convicted in August 2013 of espionage after admitting to handing classified documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.
She attempted suicide in July and has repeatedly decried her treatment in a men’s military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where she is appealing her 35-year sentence. –