Attorneys for imprisoned former military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning confirmed on Monday that she attempted suicide last week. Manning’s lawyers said she is expected to remain under observation for the next several weeks. Manning is serving a 35-year sentence at the military prison at Fort Leavenworth for leaking information to WikiLeaks.
The news that Manning was hospitalized on July 6 was first released by the U.S. Army to CNN, and anonymous military sources later told the news outlet that Manning had attempted suicide. Her lawyers Chase Strangio, Vincent Ward and Nancy Hollander were furious, writing in a statement that the Army was leaking medical information to the press while denying them access to their client:
“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.”
In another statement on Monday, the attorneys said they were able to speak with Manning for the first time since she was hospitalized. The statement reads, in part:
“Last week, Chelsea made a decision to end her life. Her attempt to take her own life was unsuccessful. She knows that people have questions about how she is doing and she wants everyone to know that she remains under close observation by the prison and expects to remain on this status for the next several weeks. For us, hearing Chelsea’s voice after learning that she had attempted to take her life last week was incredibly emotional. She is someone who has fought so hard for so many issues we care about and we are honored to fight for her freedom and medical care.”
Manning also sent out a tweet through the account managed by her supporters:
Manning filed an appeal in May, a process that is proceeding very, very slowly. In the meantime, since coming out as trans, she has fought a series of battles with the military over her self-presentation; they said in November that allowing her to grow her hair long would present a security risk.
Photo via AP