Relatives of Chelsea Manning say that she has been tortured using the CIA tactics described in the recent Senate investigation.
Manning’s aunt Sharon Staples, who lives in Wales, spoke to WalesOnline about her treatment.
“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,” said Staples.
Reports say that Manning was locked up for up to 23 hours a day over a period of 11 months in solitary confinement.
Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for releasing secret military cables to the website, WikiLeaks. Including in that material was a video, which WikiLeaks released as “Collateral Murder.” The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-sight, according to WikiLeaks, depicts “the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad — including two Reuters news staff. (see video below)
Staples added: “Chelsea has been punished for releasing information [to WikiLeaks], but whatever happened to the people responsible, the people in that helicopter gunship for instance – were they punished? That always plays heavily on my mind.”
Chelsea’s mother, Susan Manning, echoed Staples’ support for Manning.
“Chelsea will be 27 years old on 17 December and this will be the fifth birthday she’s spent in prison. It breaks my heart to think of her missing out on her freedom, all because she told the truth instead of covering it up,” she said. “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’.”