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Former intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning rushed to hospital after suicide attempt in jail

Vic Parsons March 12, 2020
Trans Day of Visibility: Stories that show how visibility can be positive

Chelsea Manning leaves the district courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia, on March 5, 2019. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Former US intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning is in hospital after attempting to die by suicide, according to her lawyers.

Manning tried to kill herself on Wednesday, March 11, while detained in a Virginia jail, and is now recovering in hospital.

It’s at least the third time the 32-year-old has tried to kill herself while in jail.

In July 2016, Manning was being held at the prison barracks in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, when she attempted to take her life.

For this, she was sentenced to two weeks in solitary confinement – where she again tried to die by suicide.

Manning is due to appear in court tomorrow, March 13, where a judge is expected to rule on whether to end the civil contempt sanctions imposed on her for refusing to testify before the grand jury investigation into the publication of the material she leaked in 2010.

Her lawyers say she is still expecting to make the court date.

“Her actions today evidence the strength of her convictions, as well as the profound harm she continues to suffer as a result of her ‘civil’ confinement,” Ms Manning’s lawyers said in their statement on Wednesday.

In January, a UN torture expert accused the US of an “open ended” campaign of punishment against Manning that amounts to torture.

She is been in jail since May 2019 for refusing to participate in a grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange.

Manning was convicted in 2013 of providing more than 700,000 government files to WikiLeaks, exposing US military and diplomatic affairs internationally.

She was held in military jail between 2010 and 2017, when former president Barack Obama commuted her 35-year sentence and freed her.

In March 2019, she was detained again for two months for refusing to testify in the WikiLeaks grand jury investigation, before being briefly released and then detained again in May 2019.

Her legal team said that Manning “remains unwavering” in her commitment to refusing to participate in the WikiLeaks grand jury investigation.

In spite of those sanctions – which have so far included over a year of so-called ‘coercive’ incarceration and nearly half a million dollars in threatened fines – she remains unwavering in her refusal to participate in a secret grand jury process that she sees as highly susceptible to abuse,” her lawyers said in a statement.

“Ms Manning has previously indicated that she will not betray her principles, even at risk of grave harm to herself.”

The Alexandria sheriff, Dana Lawhorne, said: “There was an incident at approximately 12.11pm today at the Alexandria adult detention centre involving inmate Chelsea Manning.

“It was handled appropriately by our professional staff and Ms Manning is safe.”

In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email[email protected]. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org

More: chelsea manning, julian assange, suicide, wikileaks

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