Chelsea Manning Suicide Attempt : Hospitalized Whistleblower Denied Access To Lawyers

Former US Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning was hospitalized after reportedly attempting suicide. According to CNN News, Manning, who was being held at the US Military Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, was rushed to a hospital on Tuesday morning following a suicide attempt.

Coloner Patrick Seiber, a U.S. Army spokesman, announced that Chelsea Manning had been hospitalized during the early hours of July 5. He also reported that they were monitoring her condition. The Army has been hesitant in providing further details on the incident, according to the Guardian, although rumors of a suicide attempt have been circulating in the media.

According to reports, Chelsea's family and her lawyers have not been able to contact her following her hospitalization. Her lawyers have expressed their dissatisfaction at the way the army have handled the incident. Manning's lead defense attorney, Nancy Hollander, said that it wasn't right for the media to be handed confidential information about Chelsea's condition but not her own family and lawyers.
"Despite the fact that they have reached out to the media, and that any other prison will connect an emergency call, the army has told her lawyers that the earliest time that they will accommodate a call between her lawyers and Chelsea is Friday morning."
Hollander also revealed that she had been denied a privileged legal call to her client based on suspicious grounds that the call could not be connected, according to Guardian. She pointed out that the Army should immediately connect Chelsea to her family, friends and lawyers, specially if the rumors of her suicide attempt were true.
"We call on the Army to immediately connect Chelsea Manning to her lawyers and friends who care deeply about her well-being and are profoundly distressed by the complete lack of official communication about Chelsea's current situation."

Chelsea Manning
The United States Disciplinary Barracks on Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where Chelsea has been serving her sentence. [Image via Wikipedia]

Chelsea Manning, 28, was sentenced to a 35-year long jail term, with the possibility of parole after 7, on August 2013. She was convicted of handing a large amount of classified documents to the whistleblower site WikiLeaks and charged with espionage. Before her conviction, Manning had served as an Intelligence Analyst at Iraq, a position that made it possible for her to leak those documents. This leak is considered the biggest breach of classified documents in United States history.Chelsea, formerly known as Bradley Manning, was born a man, but has been undergoing hormone therapy to become a female. On the day of her conviction, she announced to the court her transition.
"I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition."
Manning had filed a lawsuit against the Army, claiming that she had been denied her hormone therapy for over a year. Following the lawsuit, the US Armed Forces deemed it "medically appropriate and necessary" to provide her the hormone therapy. She has since been receiving the hormones while serving her sentence, to complete her transition into a woman.

Despite living behind bars for the past few years, Chelsea has been contributing opinion pieces to Guardian on topics of war, gender and freedom of information. Her latest piece was about the Orlando shooting from last month that claimed the lives of 49 people. She also operates an active twitter account, xychlesea, by using a telephone to dictate her ideas to intermediaries who then tweet on her behalf.

[Featured Image via U.S. Army]