Former US intelligence analyst turned whistle-blower and activist Chelsea Manning will speak via satellite from Auckland to audiences in Melbourne and Brisbane, following the Australian government's refusal to issue her with a visa on character grounds.
A day before whistleblower Chelsea Manning's release from military prison on May 17 after seven years behind bars, WikiLeaks announced it had set up a "Welcome Home Manning" fund and asked people to donate Bitcoin’s in support of the soldier imprisoned for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified military documents.
Manning walked free from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, after former US President Barack Obama granted her clemency in January, saying she had taken responsibility for her crime and her sentence was disproportionate to those received by other whistleblowers.
Chelsea Manning, the US army intelligence analyst convicted of leaking military and diplomatic intelligence, will be freed in May after President Barack Obama announced that he has commuted the remaining prison sentence.
Manning tried to commit suicide last year and, as the only transgender woman incarcerated at the all-male Fort Leavenworth military prison in Kansas, Obama's decision could save her from an uncertain future.
US soldier Chelsea Manning, serving a 35-year prison term for passing classified files to WikiLeaks, ended her hunger strike on September 13 after the Army said she will receive treatment for her gender dysphoria, the American Civil Liberties Union said.
Chelsea Manning, the US army private who leaked classified information about US war crimes to WikiLeaks, announced on September 9 that she has begun a hunger strike to protest the lack of respect and dignity from prison and military officials.
“I need help, I am not getting any,” Manning said in a statement. “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.”
In a newly released interview conducted last year with Chelsea Manning, the jailed US whistleblower said she was “always afraid” of her government, which sentenced her to decades behind bars in a military prison.
“I am always afraid, I am still afraid of the power of government,” said Manning, who leaked thousands of classified documents to Wikileaks in 2010, in an interview with Amnesty International published by The Guardian on August 3.
"After years of inhumane treatment, and having been held in conditions that the UN considers to be torture, Chelsea Manning, the Guardian columnist and whistleblower who has been in prison for years serving a 35 year sentence for exposing some of the U.S. government's worst abuses, attempted to take her own life July 5th, 2016," FreeChelsea.com has reported.
"Now, Army officials have informed her that she is facing serious new charges directly related to her suicide attempt."
In a special statement and call to action, the site reported the new charges include:
US soldier Chelsea Manning, jailed for handing over classified files to pro-transparency site WikiLeaks, was hospitalised, her attorney said on July 6. The comment came after media reports that Manning had attempted suicide.
One of Manning's attorneys, Nancy Hollander, said she was outraged over the release of her client's confidential medical information to the media.
One of the epic miscarriages of justice of our time is unravelling. The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention — an international tribunal that adjudicates and decides whether governments comply with their human rights obligations — has ruled that Julian Assange has been detained unlawfully by Britain and Sweden.
Alexa O'Brien has become known as a "one-woman court record system" for her extensive coverage of whistleblower Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning's trial. She has also covered the WikiLeaks release of US State Department Cables, the Guantanamo Files, the global "war on terror" and the Arab Spring.
This is an edited extract from a speech she gave to a public forum called “Defending Dissent: from Manning to Occupy” in Sydney on September 17. The full forum can be watched here.