Lawyers: Chelsea Manning faces discipline for prison suicide attempt

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...

Chelsea Manning faces charges, solitary confinement after suicide attempt

July 28 (Reuters) - U.S. soldier Chelsea Manning, imprisoned for passing classified files to WikiLeaks, now stands accused of misconduct stemming from her suicide attempt earlier this month and could land in solitary confinement indefinitely, her lawyers said on Thursday.

The transgender Army private, who was born male but revealed after being convicted of espionage that she identifies as a woman, was notified by the Army on Thursday that she was under investigation, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU, which has acknowledged a suicide attempt by Manning earlier this month, said the 28-year-old soldier remains despondent over what the civil liberties group describes as the Army's continued denial of appropriate health care for her.

The ACLU denounced the latest disciplinary action as "unconscionable."

"While Chelsea is suffering the darkest depression she has experienced since her arrest, the government is taking actions to punish her for that pain," ACLU staff lawyer Chase Strangio said in a statement.

Pentagon and Army officials did not immediately reply to Reuters' requests for comment.

Photos from the case:

12 PHOTOS
Chelsea Manning
See Gallery
Chelsea Manning
CORRECTS FIRST NAME IN FIRST SENTENCE TO CHELSEA INSTEAD OF BRADLEY - FILE - In this undated file photo provided by the U.S. Army, Pfc. Chelsea Manning poses for a photo wearing a wig and lipstick. A northeast Kansas judge will make a final determination Wednesday, April 23, 2014, on Manning’s request to change her name from Bradley Edward Manning to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning. Manning is serving a 35-year sentence for giving reams of classified U.S. government information to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. (AP Photo/U.S. Army, File)
FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, file photo, Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted to a security vehicle outside a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., after a hearing in his court martial. A northeast Kansas judge will make a final determination Wednesday, April 23, 2014, on Manning’s request to change her name from Bradley Edward Manning to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning. Manning is serving a 35-year sentence for giving reams of classified U.S. government information to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, file photo, Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who now wishes to be known as Chelsea Manning, is escorted to a security vehicle outside a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., after a hearing in his court-martial. The lawyer representing Chelsea Manning in her appeals says the soldier’s 35-year sentence for leaking classified information is out of proportion with her offenses. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
FILE - In this June 5, 2013, file photo Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning, then-Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, is escorted out of a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., after the third day of his court martial. The U.S. government's aggressive prosecution of leaks and efforts to control information are having a chilling effect on journalists and government whistle-blowers, according to a report released Thursday on U.S. press freedoms under the Obama administration. Manning provided information to the anti-secrecy group Wikileaks. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning steps out of a security vehicle as he is escorted into a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, before a sentencing hearing in his court martial. The military judge overseeing Manning's trial said she will announce on Wednesday his sentence for giving reams of classified information to WikiLeaks. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013 file photo, Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted into a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., before a hearing in his court martial. On Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking a trove of classified information to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, supporter Colonel Ann Wright, stands at a news conference in Hanover, Md., Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, after Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking classified information to WikiLeaks. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Supporters of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning hold up banners as they protest outside of the gates at Fort Meade, Md., Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, before a sentencing hearing in Manning's court martial. The military judge overseeing Manning's trial said she will announce on Wednesday his sentence for giving reams of classified information to WikiLeaks. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Supporters of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning hold up banners as they protest outside of the gates at Fort Meade, Md., Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, before a sentencing hearing of Manning's court martial. The military judge overseeing Manning's trial said she will announce on Wednesday his sentence for giving reams of classified information to WikiLeaks. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
A combination photo shows U.S. soldier Chelsea Manning, who was born male Bradley Manning but identifies as a woman, imprisoned for handing over classified files to pro-transparency site WikiLeaks, being escorted by military police at Fort Meade, Maryland, U.S. on December 21, 2011 (L) and on June 6, 2012 (R) respectively. U.S. soldier Chelsea Manning, imprisoned for passing classified files to WikiLeaks, now stands accused of misconduct stemming from her suicide attempt earlier this month and could land in solitary confinement indefinitely, her lawyers said on July 28, 2016. REUTERS/File Photos
FOR USE AS DESIRED, YEAR END PHOTOS - FILE - Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted out of a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., Tuesday, July 30, 2013, after receiving a verdict in his court martial. Manning was acquitted of aiding the enemy â the most serious charge he faced â but was convicted of espionage, theft and other charges, more than three years after he revealed secrets to WikiLeaks. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

A transcript of the Army notice of investigation, as dictated over the phone by Manning to one her supporters and posted online by the ACLU, makes no explicit mention of a failed suicide.

But Manning was told the inquiry stemmed from her July 5 attempt to take her own life, which led to her being hospitalized for 24 hours, Strangio said.

The circumstances of the incident have not been disclosed, but the ACLU said it occurred in her cell and that she lost consciousness.

Manning has since been returned to confinement at the Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where she remains in a medical observation unit, Strangio said.

The notice lists three "administrative offenses" for which Manning is under investigation: "resisting the force cell move team," "prohibited property," and "conduct which threatens." Manning has yet to respond to the charges, Strangio said.

If convicted, she could face punishment that includes indefinite solitary confinement, reclassification into maximum security and an additional nine years in medium security, the ACLU said.

Manning, a former intelligence analyst in Iraq, was sentenced in 2013 to 35 years in prison after a military court conviction of providing more than 700,000 documents, videos, diplomatic cables and battlefield accounts to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks. The case ranked as the biggest breach of classified materials in U.S. history.

Among the files Manning leaked in 2010 was a gunsight video of a U.S. Apache helicopter firing on suspected Iraqi insurgents in 2007, an attack that killed a dozen people, including two Reuters news staff. (Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Bernard Orr)

More on the case:

Army Whistleblower Chelsea Manning Tried to Take Her Own Life in Prison

Read Full Story

People are Reading