Chelsea Manning’s relatives claim she was ‘tortured’ by US military
British relatives of US whistleblower Chelsea Manning have made claims that she was “tortured” by US authorities.
Following the release of a CIA report into torture last week, relatives of the 26 year old army Private – who was sentenced to 35 years in jail for leaking classified information to WikiLeaks – alleged she has suffered similar treatment.
Her aunt, Sharon Staples, told WalesOnline that she believes that way Manning has been treated amounts to torture.
She said: “What really hurt me was the treatment Chelsea received in Quantico two years before the trial: stripped naked, kept in solitary confinement, made to stand in a corner, everything taken away.”
Manning was held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day for ten months after being arrested, but before being tried.
On her website, it states she was forced to remain naked for long periods of time, and denied exercise or sunlight.
Her mother Susan Manning said “It breaks my heart to think of her missing out on her freedom, all because she told the truth instead of covering it up. Chelsea was brought up to be truthful.
“When she was small her grandmother lived with us and she always said to the children: ‘If you can’t tell the truth, don’t bother speaking’.”
Manning is currently suing the US Department of Defense for access to transition treatment. She has previously said she is banned from presenting as female and denied treatment despite it being a “medical necessity”.
It was previously reported that US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel had approved plans to start her treatment – but this has not yet taken place.