Wikileaks founder Julian Assange misgenders trans woman Chelsea Manning
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange repeatedly misgendered trans whistleblower Chelsea Manning in a speech today.
Assange gave a speech from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has voluntarily confined himself in order to evade arrest.
In the speech he referenced Chelsea Manning, who was freed from Fort Leavenworth military prison this week.
Manning, who had sued for the right to transition behind bars, was granted clemency by President Barack Obama in one of his final acts in office. Her sentence ended this week.
Assange said: “There is one other very important victory this week… and that is the release of Chelsea Manning from prison, after seven years detained in a military prison.
“Through an extensive fight, we and others managed to have him released 28 years early from his sentence. Alleged Wikileaks source Chelsea Manning.”
Manning is a transgender woman who is female and uses female pronouns. Having been forced to present as a man inside prison, she revealed her look as a free woman on social media yesterday after her release.
She has not publicly responded to Assange, or referenced him at all since her release from prison.
Assange had initially claimed he would surrender himself to the US if Manning was freed.
However, after the clemency was granted, he went back on the promise and remains inside the embassy.
The only official outstanding warrant for Assange’s arrest was from Sweden, where he had been wanted in connection with a rape allegation.
The Swedish authorities today said that they had decided to drop the rape investigation due to its unlikelihood of progressing. He is still wanted by UK police for failure to answer bail.
President Obama commuted Chelsea Manning’s sentence after a application for clemency formally supported by Air Force Colonel Morris D Davis, journalist Glenn Greenwald, and former whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg.
It was additionally supported by more than than a dozen LGBT groups and the American Civil Liberties Union.
Donald Trump, who does not have the power to reverse the commutation, previously said Manning should stay in prison.
He tweeted: “Ungrateful TRAITOR Chelsea Manning, who should never have been released from prison, is now calling President Obama a weak leader. Terrible!”