Chelsea Manning sentenced to 14 days solitary confinement for charges following suicide attempt

Statement from imprisoned whistleblower says she has been sentenced to two weeks in solitary, seven days of which are suspended 

Heather Saul
Friday 23 September 2016 13:53 BST
Chelsea Manning is currently serving a 35 year sentence in prison
Chelsea Manning is currently serving a 35 year sentence in prison (AFP/Getty)

Chelsea Manning has been convicted of charges following her suicide attempt and says she will have to serve a period of time in solitary confinement.

The former US soldier and whistleblower released a statement today after appearing before a three-member disciplinary board.

In the statement released on her Twitter account, Manning, who is transgender, said she presented evidence and questioned witnesses during the hearing. The board took 30 minutes to make their decision, according to her statement, and sentence her to ‘disciplinary segregation’.

Manning is serving a 35-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth prison in Kansas for leaking classified documents. Manning says her gender dysphoria led her to try to kill herself in July and briefly went on hunger strike earlier in September until the army approved her transition surgery.

Her lawyer Nancy Hollander said the sentence could harm Manning's mental health. She told The Independent: “Forcing Chelsea back into solitary confinement as a punishment for her suicide attempt is extremely worrisome to me and counterproductive to Chelsea's mental and physical health. Essentially she is now being tortured as punishment for an act of desperation."

In her statement, Manning said: “I waited nervously for the board to vote. I was acquitted of the ‘Resisting The Force Cell Move Team’ charge.

“I was found guilty of the 'Conduct Which Threatens' charge. This charge was for the suicide attempt.

“I was found guilty of the 'Prohibited Property' charge, which was for an unmarked copy of Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy, by Gabriella Coleman.

“My punishment is 14 days in solitary confinement. Seven of those days are 'suspended'. If I get in trouble in the next six months, those seven days will come back.

"There is no set date set for this to start. After I receive the formal board results in writing, I have 15 days to appeal. I expect to get them in the next few days.

"I am feeling hurt. I am feeling lonely. I am embarrassed by the decision. I don’t know how to explain it.

"I am touched by your warm messages of love and support. This comforts me in my time of need.”

The US Department of Defence did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Independent.

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