Chelsea Manning, the U.S. army private convicted in 2013 for leaking classified information to WikiLeaks, has announced she has started a hunger strike to protest what she calls “constant and overzealous administrative scrutiny by prison and military officials.”
“I need help. I am not getting any,” Manning said in a statement released to TIME through a member of the Chelsea Manning Support Network and confirmed as authentic by her lawyer, American Civil Liberties Union attorney Chase Stragio. “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.”
On July 5, Manning attempted to commit suicide, her attorneys said. She was subsequently charged with several administrative offenses that, her lawyers say, could result in her being transferred to indefinite solitary confinement.
Manning said that beginning Friday morning, September 9, she will not voluntarily consume any food or drink except water and prescription medication, nor will she voluntarily cut her hair.
Officials at Fort Leavenworth referred inquiries to the Office of the Army’s Chief of Public Affairs at the Pentagon. An official with that office did not have immediate comment but said he would consult with the Department of Justice, which is representing the Defense Department on this matter.
Manning’s entire statement announcing the hunger strike is reproduced below:
Philip Elliott contributed to this report