FORT LEAVENWORTH , Kan., Sept. 10 (UPI) -- U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning announced she began a hunger strike in protest of her prison conditions as she serves a 35-year sentence for leaking classified documents.
Advocacy group Fight for the Future shared a statement from the 28-year-old transgender woman, born Bradley Manning, as she demanded written assurances that the Army will provide her with all of the medically prescribed recommendations for her gender dysphoria.
"I have asked for help time and time again for six years and through five separate confinement locations," she said. "My request has only been ignored, delayed, mocked, given trinkets and lip service by the prison, the military, and this administration."
Manning had previously sued the all-male military prison to allow her to grow her hair in keeping with female hair grooming standards, but was denied.
She also called for an end to "the constant, deliberate and overzealous administrative scrutiny by prison and military officials," which she referred to as "high-tech bullying."
"I am no longer asking. Now, I am demanding," Manning said. "As of 12:01 am Central Daylight Time on September 9, 2016, and until I am given minimum standards of dignity, respect, and humanity, I shall—refuse to voluntarily cut or shorten my hair in any way; consume any food or drink voluntarily, except for water and currently prescribed medications; and comply with all rules, regulations, laws, and orders that are not related to the two things I have mentioned.'
Manning said the lack of care for her gender dysphoria was the reason behind her attempted suicide in the Fort Leavenworth, Kansas prison in July.
"I need help. I needed help earlier this year. I was driven to suicide by the lack of care for my gender dysphoria that I have been desperate for. I didn't get any. I still haven't gotten any," she said. "I needed help. Yet, instead I am now being punished for surviving my attempt."
Following her suicide attempt Manning was facing indefinite solitary confinement, a move into a maximum-security prison and an additional nine years in medium custody and the chance of no parole. The outcome of the ruling is unclear.
Fight for the Future also launched a petition for people to express their support of Manning's nonviolent protest for basic rights and dignified treatment.