R.E.M frontman Michael Stipe has shared a video in support of Chelsea Manning. Manning was a soldier in the US Army, who was imprisoned after leaking classified information to WikiLeaks.
Manning is currently held at the US Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and began a hunger strike last week to protest her treatment at the barracks. She’s announced that she is ending her hunger strike because the army has agreed to allow her to get medical treatment for her gender dysphoria.
Manning shared this statement through the ACLU: “I am unendingly relieved that the military is finally doing the right thing. I applaud them for that. This is all that I wanted — for them to let me be me. But it is hard not to wonder why it has taken so long. Also, why were such drastic measures needed?”
Before news of Manning ending her hunger strike broke, Stipe released a video in support of her, encouraging people to sign a petition which called for her fair treatment.
In the clip Stipe says that he “supports human rights for all people” and that “as an American patriot” it is his duty to stand with Chelsea Manning.
“After years of mistreatment in prison, she tragically attempted to take her own life,” he continued. “Instead of giving her the treatment that she needs, the government is now threatening her with indefinite solitary confinement.”
He then urged viewers to sign the petition, stating her treatment as “unjustifiable” and “unfair,” stating that “it needs to be stopped.”