Chelsea Manning, the military whistleblower serving a 35 year sentence, was rushed to hospital after reportedly trying to take her own life.
According to media reports Manning, who us being held at in a cell at the US Military Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, was taken to hospital early on Tuesday morning. CNN said that it was believed that the 28-year-old had tried to kill herself.
Mary Scully who is running as an independent socialist candidate for US president 2016 said in a Facebook post:
It is deeply sad to hear Chelsea Manning attempted suicide in her jail cell yesterday. She is serving a 35-year sentence for releasing classified documents detailing US war crimes.
Army officials did not inform her legal team of her condition & have denied them access to her until Friday.
Suicide is an act of despondency so profound that one can overcome the human instinct for survival. She was rushed to the hospital & is reportedly recovering. We send Chelsea solidarity & a sincere concern for her recovery.
Manning’s lawyer, Nancy Hollander, said in a statement:
Today, an unnamed official at the Army revealed unverified information relating to Chelsea Manning’s confidential medical status to the media and Nancy Hollander, lead attorney on her defense team, released the following statement:
“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.
“I had a privileged call scheduled with Chelsea at 2pm Leavenworth time yesterday, after the Army has now said she was hospitalized, 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.
“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. We call on the Army to immediately connect Chelsea Manning to her lawyers and friends who care deeply about her well-being and are profoundly distressed by the complete lack of official communication about Chelsea’s current situation.”
Manning was sentenced in August 2013 to 35 years’ imprisonment, with the possibility of parole in the eighth year after being convicted of leaking classified material to Wilileaks.
Manning, who was born Bradley Manning, said in a statement after the sentencing that she had felt female since childhood and wanted to be known as Chelsea.
“As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me,” she said at the time.
“I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition.”
Last year, in a legal first, the US Army granted her hormone therapy to transition while serving her sentence at the Fort Leavenworth Disciplinary Barracks, deeming it “medically appropriate and necessary”.
Approval came after she filed a lawsuit against the army because she said she had been been denied the treatment she needed for over a year.