16 September 2016
Take me instead: WikiLeaks’ Assange asks Obama to pardon ManningAssange (L) and Manning (R)
WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange has offered to serve time at a US prison if President Barack Obama would pardon Chelsea Manning, the whistleblower who handed Wikileaks US military and diplomatic documents in 2010.
Manning is currently serving a 35-year sentence at the US Disciplinary Barracks in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Assange, an Australian national, has been trapped inside the embassy of Ecuador since August 2012, when he requested asylum to avoid being arrested and extradited to Sweden, claiming he would then face unfair trial in the US.
“His rights have been violated. His right to protection against arbitrary detention, his presumption of innocence, his right to a fair trial, his protection against cruel and inhumane treatment - all of these rights have been violated,” Taylor added.
Manning is facing indefinite solitary confinement after attempted suicide in August. She says she is bullied by prison and military officials, and requires treatment for gender dysphoria. Last week, the whistleblower resorted to a hunger strike to highlight her plight.
“Until I am shown dignity and respect as a human again, I shall endure this pain before me,” Manning concluded.
On Tuesday, the Department of Defense said that Manning would qualify for gender reassignment surgery under a new directive going into effect October 1.