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Chelsea Manning denied access to legal counsel after hospitalisation, say attorneys

Joseph McCormick July 7, 2016

Trans whistleblower Chelsea Manning has been denied access to legal counsel after being briefly hospitalised, her attorneys have said.

Manning, entered her seventh year in prison earlier this year after leaking details of classified government documents concerning alleged war crimes and rights abuses via WikiLeaks.

She announced her transition to female in 2013.

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The whistleblower has sued the US Army for her right to transition behind bars, and has also taken action against her “unjust” 35-year prison sentence. on the basis that her actions helped make public a large number of serious issues related to military practise.

Army spokesman Wayne Hall spoke to NBC News to confirm that Manning was hospitalised briefly in the early hours of Tuesday, 5 July.

Despite being returned to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Army spokespeople have not confirmed for what reason she was admitted to the hospital.

According to reports on Wednesday, the whistleblower attempted to take her own life inside the prison, and was taken to hospital on Tuesday morning.

A CNN journalist reported: “Chelsea Manning suspected of attempting suicide. Was taken to a hospital Tuesday from Fort Leavenworth.”

Attorneys for Manning have since said they have been unable to contact her, and are angry after they said Army staff leaked information to the press.

“We’re shocked and outraged that an official at Leavenworth contacted the press with private confidential medical information about Chelsea Manning yet no one at the Army has given a shred of information to her legal team,” said Nancy Hollander, defending Manning.

The lawyer also accused the Army of lying about why a privileged call she had scheduled with Manning was cancelled on Tuesday.

“I had a privileged call scheduled with Chelsea at 2pm. Leavenworth time yesterday, after the Army has now said she was hospitalised, but the Army gave the excuse — which I now believe to be an outright lie—that the call could not be connected although my team was waiting by the phone,” she said.

“Despite the fact that they have reached out to the media, and that any other prison will connect an emergency call, the Army has told her lawyers that the earliest time that they will accommodate a call between her lawyers and Chelsea is Friday morning.”

PinkNews has regularly reported on Manning, who has sued the US Army for her right to transition behind bars but is forced to cut her hair short. Manning herself previously had her access to PinkNews clippings restricted.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation warned that clippings of news coverage sent to Manning via the prison postal service, including a PinkNews report, had been seized by prison authorities.

Manning earlier this year appealed against her prison sentence, describing it as “unjust”. 

More: chelsea manning, Fort Leavenworth, hospital, prison, Trans, Transgender, US, whistleblower

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