U.S. Army solider Chelsea Manning, who was convicted of espionage, announced a self-imposed hunger strike last week to demand taxpayer-funded gender reassignment surgery. Manning's protest was short-lived as the Pentagon has reportedly decided to acquiesce to the demand.
Manning, who was born Bradley Manning, is currently being held at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
In this undated file photo provided by the U.S. Army, Bradley Manning poses for a photo wearing a wig and lipstick. Manning, who was tried and convicted for leaking U.S. secrets to WikiLeaks, now identifies as a woman and goes by Chelsea Elizabeth Manning. (AP/U.S. Army, File)
“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," the ACLU said in a statement on behalf of Manning. According to the civil rights organization, Manning is the first inmate to receive such treatment in prison, Reuters reported.
The Defense Department would not comment on the case, citing the inmate's privacy.
Manning, 28, is serving a 35-year sentence after being convicted in July 2013 for giving more than 700,000 classified documents to WikiLeaks.
Manning began receiving hormone therapy in April 2015 and the prisoner's doctors later recommended gender transition surgery.
“I hope this sets a precedent for the thousands of trans people behind me hoping they will be given the treatment they need," Manning said in a statement released by the ACLU.
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