Chelsea Manning (AP/U.S. Army)

Chelsea Manning sentenced to solitary confinement after suicide attempt

"I am feeling hurt. I am feeling lonely," Manning said


Sophia Tesfaye
September 23, 2016 8:04PM (UTC)

The U.S. military announced that it would grant Chelsea Manning gender reassignment surgery after a weeklong hunger strike but not before the whistleblower is punished for her attempted suicide attempt earlier this summer.

Manning, who is serving a 35-year sentence at the U.S. Army's Fort Leavenworth prison in Kansas, was convicted on two of three additional charges in a disciplinary hearing on Thursday. According to Manning, a prison disciplinary board sentenced her to 14 days in solitary confinement following her attempt to kill herself in July.

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Manning, who has spent the last five years in prison for for leaking thousands of sensitive military documents to WikiLeaks while working as an army intelligence analyst, was found guilty of “conduct which threatens” charge.

As Vice explainedArmy policy prohibits inmates from resisting, impeding or interfering with officers who are deployed in the event that an inmate needs to be forcibly removed from his or her cell. Because the "force cell remove team" were called in after Manning was discovered unconscious in her unit, her suicide attempt was seen by the Army as an act of resistance or interference, a Category IV or V offense, the same as extortion, tampering with locks, arson or possession of drugs.

Manning's "intentional actions" of attempting suicide, the Army alleged, interfered with "the good order, safety, and running of the facility."

Chelsea Manning, who was arrested in 2010 as Bradley Manning, was also found guilty of a property infraction for possessing a copy of "Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower  Spy" by Gabriella Coleman.

"I am feeling hurt," Manning wrote in a statement released by Fight for the Future, a group advocating on her behalf, after the verdict. "I am feeling lonely. I am embarrassed by the decision. I don’t know how to explain it." Manning has previously linked her attempt to end her life to “the lack of care for my gender dysphoria that I have been desperate for.”

She said that 7 of 14 days of punishment have been “suspended,” and explained, “If I get in trouble in the next six months, those seven days will come back.” Manning wrote that she has 15 days to appeal the sentence but did not indicate if she will.

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Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's Deputy Politics Editor and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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