Chelsea Manning gets 14 days in solitary confinement for suicide attempt

‘I am feeling hurt. I am feeling lonely’ says Manning, who did not indicate whether she would appeal against the punishment after her sentencing

Prison officials have sentenced Chelsea Manning to 14 days in solitary confinement following an attempt to kill herself in July.

Manning is serving 35 years in Fort Leavenworth prison in Kansas for leaking a vast collection of secret US government documents about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Government officials drew the public’s ire after charging Manning with three counts of misconduct following the suicide attempt, including two which carried possible penalties of indefinite solitary confinement.

Seven days of Manning’s punishment will be suspended indefinitely, in effect reserved in case prison officials feel Manning poses further disciplinary problems. Manning did not indicate whether she intends to appeal against the punishment.

“The term for this status is ‘disciplinary segregation’,” said Manning, in a statement released by Fight for the Future, a group advocating on Manning’s behalf. “There is no set date set for this to start. After I receive the formal board results in writing, I have 15 days to appeal. I expect to get them in the next few days.

“I am feeling hurt. I am feeling lonely. I am embarrassed by the decision. I don’t know how to explain it,” said Manning.

In the six years that Manning has been in prison, officials have refused recommendations to treat Manning for gender dysphoria disorder, although they recently said she would be allowed to receive gender transition surgery.

She has also been charged with behavioral infractions in the past for having unmarked reading materials, such as an issue of Vanity Fair featuring Caitlyn Jenner, or an expired tube of toothpaste.

In the most recent hearing, Manning was found guilty of a “conduct which threatens” charge, stemming from an attempt to kill herself. She was hospitalized as a result of the attempt, which officials said “interfered with the good order, safety, and running of the facility”.

She was also found guilty of a property infraction for possessing a copy of Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy by Gabriella Coleman.

Manning’s most recent hearing took place before a tribunal where she was not allowed access to an attorney or advocate. Manning said the hearing took four hours and the group broke for lunch, and that she was allowed to question witnesses. There is no publicly available record or transcript of the hearing outside of Manning’s own description.

Contributor

Jessica Glenza in New York

The GuardianTramp

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