Lawyers: US Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning attempted suicide | News | DW | 12.07.2016
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Lawyers: US Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning attempted suicide

The legal team of US Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning has confirmed that the 28-year-old tried to kill herself in jail. The transgender soldier leaked the largest volume of classified material in US history.

Attorneys for Chelsea Manning - previously Bradley - confirmed in an emailed statement on Monday that the transgender soldier was hospitalized last week after attempting suicide.

"Last week, Chelsea made a decision to end her life," her lawyers said, adding that the US Army had committed a "gross breach of confidentiality" for publicly revealing her hospitalization.

"She would have preferred to keep her private medical information private, and instead focus on her recovery," the statement said.

"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."

Manning is currently serving a 35-year prison sentence at an all-male prison facility at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. In 2013, she was found guilty of leaking more than 700,000 classified files and videos from Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as State Department cables, to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

It was the largest-volume leak of classified material in US history. Manning was convicted of 20 criminal counts including espionage and theft, but not of aiding the enemy - the most serious charge. She is currently appealing her conviction.

'Glad to be alive'

A day after her sentencing, Manning announced that she would continue the rest of her life as a woman.

The 28-year-old was last year approved for hormone therapy after being diagnosed with gender dysphoria - the sense of physically being the wrong gender.

In a tweet posted on Manning's account on Monday, the convicted whisteblower said: "I am okay. I'm glad to be alive. Thank you all for your love <3 I will get through this," the tweet read.

Tweets posted on the account are usually dictated by Manning to her representatives from prison.

ksb/rc (AP, Reuters)

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