MOSCOW, September 24 (RIA Novosti) - Transgender WikiLeaks contributor Chelsea Manning has filed a lawsuit in a federal court against top US army officials and the Pentagon for violating her constitutional right to receive treatment for a gender disorder, the US media reported late Tuesday.
The legal complaint accuses Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Major General David Quantock of the army corrections command, and Colonel Erica Nelson, who commands the disciplinary barracks in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas where Manning is held, of repeatedly ignoring the inmate’s pleas for medical treatment for gender dysphoria. Despite having officially announced that she is a woman, Manning hasn’t undergone gender reassignment surgery.
“The government continues to deny Ms. Manning’s access to necessary medical treatment for gender dysphoria, without which she will continue to suffer severe psychological harms,” said Chase Strangio, an attorney with the ACLU Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender project who is acting as one of Manning’s lawyers, as cited by Salon.com. “Such clear disregard of well-established medical protocols constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.” So far, the military hasn’t commented on the issue.
Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning, is currently serving a 35-year sentence in a Kansas military prison for disclosing classified US government documents.
While in prison, former US Army private Bradley Manning announced via a lawyer last summer that he was a female and that he had changed his name. The US Army, which does not allow transgender soldiers, said it does not provide hormone replacement therapy or sex reassignment surgery for inmates.
In May, however, Manning was allowed by the Pentagon to transfer to a civilian prison to receive treatment for her gender disorder.