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Chelsea Manning Sentenced To Solitary Confinement For Suicide Attempt

REUTERS/Gary Cameron.

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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A disciplinary board at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, has sentenced Chelsea Manning, a former Army intelligence analyst, to 14 days of solitary confinement for trying to kill himself.

Manning attempted suicide back in July because the Army refused to provide him with what Manning has referred to as proper “health care,” that is, sex reassignment surgery, The Intercept reports.

But since half that sentence for “conduct that threatens” is suspended, 28-year-old Manning will only spend seven days in isolation, so long as he stays out of trouble for the next six months. It’s unclear when the sentence begins precisely, but as soon as the punishment is delivered in writing, Manning will have 15 days to appeal.

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

Army spokesman Wayne Hall told Reuters that “It would be inappropriate for the Army to comment at this time.”

Chase Strangio, Manning’s lawyer from the American Civil Liberties Union, wanted to take the time to draw attention to “our systems of incarceration punishing people with the cruelty of solitary for attempting to end their life.”

Manning ended a hunger strike earlier this month after the Army caved and granted him sex reassignment surgery. In 2015, the Army approved hormone treatment.

He was originally convicted in 2013 for leaking thousands of documents to WikiLeaks in 2010, while working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq. One of the files leaked was footage of a U.S. Apache helicopter taking out likely Iraqi insurgents in 2007. Two Reuters employees were also killed in the attack.

He is now serving a 35-year sentence in prison for espionage, though after seven years, Manning could be eligible for release under parole rules.

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