Chelsea Manning Made A Second Suicide Attempt While In Solitary Confinement
Transgender soldier Chelsea Manning made another suicide attempt earlier this year in October while imprisoned at Fort Leavenworth in Leavenworth, Kansas, for leaking 700,000 documents to WikiLeaks.
Last month, Manning started a week in solitary confinement at the prison barracks as punishment for attempting suicide for the first time in July.
The second attempt occurred on October 4, the first day of Manning’s solitary confinement.
Chase Strangio, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer representing Manning, confirmed the suicide attempt on Twitter.
“Chelsea has endured unimaginable abuses in government custody since her arrest in 2010,” Strangio wrote in a statement on Twitter.
— Chase Strangio (@chasestrangio) November 4, 2016
Manning’s attorneys cited Manning’s prison conditions as well has the solitary confinement sentence as the reason for the second suicide attempt and fragile mental state.
“From the prolonged solitary confinement at Quantico to the ongoing refusal to adequately treat her gender dysphoria to now the insistence on punishing her with more solitary confinement for her attempts to take her own life, she has faced demoralizing and destabilizing assaults on her health and humanity,” Strangio wrote in the statement.
“She has repeatedly been punished for trying to survive and now is being repeatedly punished for trying to die,” Strangio continued. “I worry about the sustainability of her current conditions and her ability to keep fighting under these restless abuses.”
Manning, arrested in 2010 as Bradley Manning was convicted in 2013 in military court of leaking more than 700,000 secret military and State Department documents to WikiLeaks. At the time, Manning was working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq. Manning received a 35 year sentence for the leak.
The day after being sentenced, Manning confirmed to the lawyer that she identifies as a woman. While in prison, Manning began the gender transition to a woman, even though Manning made appearances as a woman as early as 2010.
In 2014, the ACLU sued the U.S. Department of Defense over its refusal to treat Manning’s gender dysphoria.
Manning also staged a hunger strike in September until the Army agreed to get her treatment for he gender dysphoria, including recommended surgery by Manning’s psychologist in April.
In September, Manning issued a statement to Fight for the Future through a Twitter account saying that she was being harassed and bullied as well as denied medications for her gender transition.
“I need help,” Manning said. “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.”
“Chelsea is demanding written assurances from the Army she will receive all of the medically prescribed recommendations for her gender dysphoria and that the ‘high tech bullying’ will stop,” Fight for the Future said in the statement.