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USA: Chelsea Manning Recovering After Suicide Attempt In Jail, Lawyers Say

Thursday 12 March 2020, by siawi3


Chelsea Manning Recovering After Suicide Attempt In Jail, Lawyers Say

March 12, 20201:44 PM ET

Brakkton Booker at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., November 7, 2018. (photo by Allison Shelley)

Brakkton Booker

Photo: The Alexandria, Va., sheriff confirmed Thursday that former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning “is safe.”
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst in jail for refusing to cooperate with a grand jury investigating the digital anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, is receiving medical attention after an attempted suicide, according to her lawyers.

“On Wednesday, March 11, 2020, Chelsea Manning attempted to take her own life. She was taken to a hospital and is currently recovering,” Manning’s attorneys said in a statement.

Alexandria, Va., Sheriff Dana Lawhorne confirmed that “an incident” took place at the adult detention center in Northern Virginia just after noon on Wednesday.

“It was handled appropriately by our professional staff and Ms. Manning is safe,” he said in a statement.

No other details were provided.

Also read: Chelsea Manning Sent Back To Jail For Refusing To Testify Before Grand Jury

Manning’s lawyers said she has racked up more than half a million dollars in fines for her refusal to cooperate with the grand jury. She is scheduled to appear before Judge Anthony Trenga in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on Friday. The hearing is on a motion to terminate the civil contempt charges she has incurred.

“She remains unwavering in her refusal to participate in a secret grand jury process that she sees as highly susceptible to abuse,” her lawyers wrote. “Ms. Manning has previously indicated that she will not betray her principles, even at risk of grave harm to herself.”

As NPR reported in May, Manning was sent back to jail and the court ordered her to pay fines of $500 for everyday she remained in custody. The fines increased to $1,000 per day after 60 days.

Manning said at the time that prosecutors had put her in an untenable position even after the Department of Justice granted her immunity from self-incrimination.

A top United Nations official agreed, calling Manning’s treatment a “deprivation of liberty.” Nils Melzer, the U.N. special rapporteur on torture, wrote in a letter dated Nov. 1 but not made public until weeks later that “the practice of coercive detention appears to be incompatible with the international human rights obligations of the United States.”

Also read: Jailing And Fining Chelsea Manning Constitutes Torture, Top U.N. Official Says

Manning was arrested in 2010 for providing hundreds of thousands of military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks. She was eventually convicted and sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2013. After the conviction, Manning, then known as Bradley, announced she was a transgender woman and was changing her name to Chelsea.

Former President Barack Obama shortened the sentence before leaving office, and in 2017 she was released from prison after serving seven years.

Her more recent legal troubles began in March 2019 when a judge found her in contempt for refusing to testify and ordered her back to jail.

A month later, the Justice Department unsealed charges against Assange, WikiLeaks founder, and alleged he tried to help Manning try to crack a password on Defense Department computers.

In early May 2019, she was released from jail after the grand jury’s term expired. Later that month, prosecutors slapped her with a new subpoena to testify before another grand jury. She refused and was sent back to jail where she has been ever since.