Trans­gen­der sol­dier ends hunger strike

The Myanmar Times - - World -

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. –

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