If Obama grants Manning clemency, Julian Assange is willing to spend time in US prison.
Talk about an activist. On Monday, the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, offered to spend time in prison if President Obama pardons activist Chelsea Manning.
The post on WikiLeaks’ official Twitter account reads:
“If Obama grants Manning clemency. Assange will agree to US prison in exchange — despite its clear unlawfulness.”
At present, Assange is hiding out in the Ecuadorian embassy to escape extradition to the United States. His activism – which has included leaking sensitive material via WikiLeaks – has resulted in a long-running investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Additionally, he is also wanted by Swedish authorities regarding an allegation of rape – a charge he adamantly denies, reports Reuters.
As you might remember, Chelsea Manning, a transgender army whistleblower, began supplying material to WikiLeaks in 2010. Presently, she is serving a 35-year sentence at a military barrack in Leavenworth, Kansas, after receiving a court-martial in 2013.
Though the army began supplying the inmate with hormone therapy five years after she was first imprisoned, the army has not taken other steps to treat her like a female prisoner, say her attorneys. In effect, Manning recently attempted suicide. Army doctors have diagnosed Chelsea as having gender dysphoria, a condition of extreme distress that results when a person’s gender identity does not match his or her biological sex.
Last week, Manning announced to her authorities that she would begin a hunger strike in protest of her treatment.
Her statement reads:
“I have asked for help time and time again for six years and through five separate confinement locations. My request has only been ignored, delayed, mocked, given trinkets and lip service by the prison, the military, and this administration.”
“Until I am shown dignity and respect as a human again, I shall endure this pain before me,” she concludes.
Once the Department of Defense stated that Manning qualifies for gender reassignment surgery, she ended her hunger strike. Still, activists like Assange have not given up on campaigning for the activist’s release.
According to Underground Reporter, Assange’s willingness to spend time in prison comes shortly after his attorney, citing the “Clinton Precedent,” attempted to convince the Department of Justice to drop its investigation into the WikiLeaks founder.
After the Director of the FBI pardoned Hillary Clinton amid her ongoing email server scandal, Assange’s attorney, Barry Pollack, asked for all charges against his client to be “promptly dismissed” under the very same reasoning.
Whether or not Obama chooses to pardon Manning and compromise with Assange remains to be seen.
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