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Chelsea Manning made second suicide attempt in October, lawyers say

By
Daniel Uria
Chelsea Manning, formerly known as U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning, committed suicide for a second time at the beginning of her solitary confinement sentence in October, her lawyer Chase Strangio confirmed. Manning also released a four-page statement disclosing the suicide attempt to the New York Times. 
 Photo from U.S. Army
Chelsea Manning, formerly known as U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning, committed suicide for a second time at the beginning of her solitary confinement sentence in October, her lawyer Chase Strangio confirmed. Manning also released a four-page statement disclosing the suicide attempt to the New York Times. Photo from U.S. Army

FORT LEAVENWORTH , Kan., Nov. 5 (UPI) -- U.S. Army information leaker Chelsea Manning attempted suicide for a second time as she began a week of solitary confinement in October.

Manning released a four-page statement, disclosing the October suicide attempt to the New York Times through her volunteer support network.

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Manning's legal team, including lawyer Chase Strangio, confirmed the suicide attempt, but declined to give details other than stating prison conditions contributed to her fragile mental state, the BBC reported.

Manning, born Bradley Manning, was convicted of stealing thousands of confidential government documents and giving them to WikiLeaks. She was sentenced to 35 years in prison. She had previously served 14 days in solitary confinement for a suicide attempt in July.

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Manning said she was given no warning about the beginning of her solitary detention in October. She attempted suicide on the first night.

She was placed on suicide watch after the attempt and moved to a special observation unit, known as Alpha Tier, where her confinement continued, according to the statement.

Manning also detailed a bizarre sequence of events that happened days after the suicide attempt, which involved a group of four attackers impersonating guards who she said shot and tortured the actual guards and encouraged her to escape.

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An army spokesman denied the incident had taken place and Strangio told the New York Times Manning had described the events over the phone but he, "couldn't comment on any of these experiences because I don't understand them."

Manning was later released from the special observation unit and returned to the general population where she was able to receive mail and make phone calls.

In September, Manning announced she would start a hunger strike in protest of her prison conditions as she sought to ensure proper medical treatment for gender dysphoria. She ended the strike some four days later after the Army agreed to provide gender transition surgery.

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Strangio said he plans to visit the prison following Manning's most recent suicide attempt to inspect the conditions.

"I am going to visit her later this month due to continuous concerns that she is not getting the health care she needs," he said.

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