Chelsea Manning Threatened With Indefinite Solitary Confinement For Expired Toothpaste & Having A Copy Of Vanity Fair

from the really-now? dept

The way the US treats prisoners is often barbaric. The UN has repeatedly highlighted how solitary confinement is a form of torture that should be stopped, but the US regularly uses it on its massive prison population (largest prison population in the world! Go USA!). And even if you don't think it's torture, you should at least recognize that people are thrown in solitary confinement for ridiculous reasons -- such as looking at Facebook. Or, apparently, having expired toothpaste in your cell.

It appears that Chelsea Manning is now facing indefinite solitary confinment for a short list of "infractions" which include having expired toothpaste ("medicine misuse") and having a copy of the Caitlyn Jenner issue of Vanity Fair, along with some other magazines ("prohibited property"). The other two charges may seem slightly less crazy, but not when you look at the details. They are for "disrespect" and "disorderly conduct," but the "disorderly conduct" was for apparently sweeping some food on the floor during a dinner, and the "disorderly conduct" was for asking for a lawyer when Manning was being yelled at over the food incident.
There's a hearing about this on August 18th, and Fight for the Future has set up a petition about this to call more attention to the way Manning has been treated. As the petition says, it's clear that Manning is being "singled out and punished for speaking out." Even if you don't think Manning's actions in leaking State Department cables was just, hopefully you can recognize that indefinite solitary confinement over such minor charges is ridiculous.

Filed Under: chelsea manning, prisons, solitary confinement, toothpaste, torture, vanity fair

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2015 @ 2:09pm

    Re: I wouldn't count on it either.


    In this case, I do not think the out-of-date toothpaste offense screams of someone having it out for her. For example, here is a sample of infractions that have garnered solitary confinement for other inmates:

    - Refusing a hair cut for religious reasons.
    - Eating an apple incorrectly (maybe they went bottom to top instead of periphery to core?).
    - Failing to work as instructed by a supervisor.
    - Being untidy (we WILL stamp out untidiness in this prison!).
    - Abusive or offensive language.
    - Circulating a petition (a petition to get out of prison, maybe?).
    - Reckless eyeballing (I have to wonder what this even is).
    - Possession of an "excess quantity of postage stamps (clearly a severe offense - wouldn't want anyone mailing themselves out of prison).

    These are actual infractions that sent people to solitary confinement. There are many more, of course.

    When you consider that the average term in solitary for a prison inmate in California is nearly 7, you quickly realize that solitary confinement is not an exception, it is a norm. Manning is not exceptional or being singled out. She is just one more person caught up in the system.

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