US soldier Chelsea Manning – who is currently serving 35 years in the clink for leaking official secrets – has recently undergone a routine cell inspection. Nothing out of the ordinary appeared to be there: an expired tube of toothpaste, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai’s memoir I Am Malala and a copy of the Caitlyn Jenner-fronted issue of Vanity Fair.
According to her lawyers, however, these bits of light reading could land Manning in solitary confinement. She’s apparently been charged with violating four of the prison’s custody rules, one of which claims the reading material as “prohibited property”. Manning has also committed the offense of “medicine misuse”, since her toothpaste – which is normally a cell-approved item – was “past its expiration date of 9 April 2015”.
The maximum punishment for such offenses? A to-be-determined amount of time locked up in solitary. The prison guards reportedly also confiscated the US Senate report on torture, a novel featuring trans women called A Safe Girl to Love, and an issue of Out Magazine from her cell.
There is already a petition to sign to save Manning from solitary and let her keep what little bit of sanity – and beach reads – she has.