WikiLeaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning has announced her decision to go on a hunger strike to protest what she calls "constant and overzealous administrative scrutiny by prison and military officials." The 28-year-old is also adamant that she would not be moved from her protest until she receives "minimum standards of dignity, respect, and humanity."

In July, the former United States Army soldier, convicted by court-martial, had also attempted suicide at the United States Disciplinary Barracks, a military correctional facility in Kansas. She was convicted in 2013 after being accused of leaking nearly 7,00,000 U.S. Army records to WikiLeaks.

Following her suicide attempt, Manning had been charged with several administrative offences, which according to her lawyers, could result in her facing an indefinite solitary confinement or a transfer to a maximum-security detention.

"I need help. I needed help earlier this year. I was driven to suicide by the lack of care for my gender dysphoria that I have been desperate for. I didn't get any. I still haven't gotten any," Manning said in a statement.

"I am no longer asking. Now, I am demanding. As of 12:01 am Central Daylight Time on September 9, 2016, and until I am given minimum standards of dignity, respect, and humanity, I shall—refuse to voluntarily cut or shorten my hair in any way; consume any food or drink voluntarily, except for water and currently prescribed medications; and comply with all rules, regulations, laws, and orders that are not related to the two things I have mentioned," the statement added.

Chelsea Manning
A combination photo shows former U.S. soldier Chelsea Manning (known as Bradley Manning until her Aug. 22, 2013 announcement) being escorted by military police at Fort Meade, Maryland on Dec. 21, 2011 (L) and on June 6, 2012 (R) respectively.Reuters
Chelsea Manning
Former U.S. soldier Chelsea Manning, who was imprisoned for handing over classified files to pro-transparency site WikiLeaks, is pictured dressed as a woman in this 2010 photograph obtained on Aug. 14, 2013.Reuters

Earlier, human rights groups had also expressed concern over Manning's treatment at the Kansas military correctional facility.

Manning had announced her identity as a transgender shortly after being sentenced. In 2015, she had started receiving hormone replacement therapy after combating the U.S. Army for the right to identify herself as a woman.

Manning was sentenced in Aug. 2013 to 35 years imprisonment, with the possibility of parole in the eighth year, and to be dishonorably discharged from the Army. 

Manning's statement announcing her hunger strike:

"I need help. I am not getting any. 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.

I need help. I needed help earlier this year. I was driven to suicide by the lack of care for my gender dysphoria that I have been desperate for. I didn't get any. I still haven't gotten any.

I needed help. Yet, instead I am now being punished for surviving my attempt. When I was a child, my father would beat me repeatedly for simply not being masculine enough. I was told to stop crying—to "suck it up." But, I couldn't stop crying. The pain just got worse and worse. Until finally, I just couldn't take the pain anymore.

I needed help, but no one came then. No one is coming now.

Today, I have decided that I am no longer going to be bullied by this prison—or by anyone within the U.S. government. I have asked for nothing but the dignity and respect—that I once actually believed would be provided for—afforded to any living human being.

I do not believe that this should be dependent on any arbitrary factors—whether you are cisgender or transgender; service member or civilian, citizen or non-citizen. In response to virtually every request, I have been granted limited, if any, dignity and respect—just more pain and anguish.

I am no longer asking. Now, I am demanding. As of 12:01 am Central Daylight Time on September 9, 2016, and until I am given minimum standards of dignity, respect, and humanity, I shall—refuse to voluntarily cut or shorten my hair in any way; consume any food or drink voluntarily, except for water and currently prescribed medications; and comply with all rules, regulations, laws, and orders that are not related to the two things I have mentioned.

This is a peaceful act. I intend to keep it as peaceful and non-violent, on my end, as possible. Any physical harm that should come to me at the hands of military or civilian staff will be unnecessary and vindictive. I will not physically resist or in any way harm another person. I have also submitted a "do not resuscitate" letter that is effective immediately. This shall include any attempts to forcibly cut or shorten my hair or to forcibly feed me by any medical or pseudo-medical means.

Until I am shown dignity and respect as a human again, I shall endure this pain before me. I am prepared for this mentally and emotionally. I expect that this ordeal will last for a long time. Quite possibly until my permanent incapacitation or death. I am ready for this.

I need help. Please, give me help.