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Chelsea Manning's lawyers confirm failed suicide attempt in prison

By
Allen Cone
Former U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning, now known as Chelsea Manning, was hospitalized after trying to commit suicide in prison, her lawyers confirmed Monday. She is serving up to 35 years for leaking information to Wikileaks. Photo by U.S. Army
Former U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning, now known as Chelsea Manning, was hospitalized after trying to commit suicide in prison, her lawyers confirmed Monday. She is serving up to 35 years for leaking information to Wikileaks. Photo by U.S. Army

FORT LEVENWORTH, Kan., July 12 (UPI) -- Imprisoned U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning attempted to kill herself while serving a 35-year sentence for espionage, her lawyers confirmed late Monday.

"After not connecting with Chelsea for over a week, we were relieved to speak with her this morning," attorneys Chase Strangio, Vincent Ward and Nancy Hollander said in a joint statement.

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Chelsea Manning was known as Bradley Manning when as an Army intelligence analyst he sent more than 750,000 classified and sensitive documents to WikiLeaks. A day after being sentenced in August 2013, he announced he wanted to be known as Chelsea.

Manning confirmed in a tweet Monday: "I am okay. I'm glad to be alive. Thank you all for your love. I will get through this."

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She does not have Internet access in prison, but uses a voice phone to dictate her tweets to a communications firm.

Manning, 28, was taken to a hospital on July 5 but returned to the all-male U.S. Disciplinary Barracks in Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

Her lawyers originally were unable to reach her there.

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The lawyers criticized the Army's decision to confirm her hospitalization as a "gross breach of confidentiality," and said they reassuring her friends and supporters she was fine.

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"She knows that people have questions about how she is doing and she wants everyone to know that she remains under close observation by the prison and expects to remain on this status for the next several weeks," the statement said.

"For us, hearing Chelsea's voice after learning that she had attempted to take her life last week was incredibly emotional. She is someone who has fought so hard for so many issues we care about and we are honored to fight for her freedom and medical care."

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In May, her attorneys appealed her conviction, arguing that no "whistleblower in American history has been sentenced this harshly."

Manning will be eligible for parole after serving eight years in prison.

Classified documents she sent to WikiLeaks included videos of American-led airstrikes in Baghdad, Iraq, Afghanistan war logs and Guantanamo Bay files.

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