10:23 GMT19 February 2020
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    After being placed in solitary confinement last month for attempting to end her life in July, whistleblower Chelsea Manning attempted suicide a second time.

    Manning, 28, faced a disciplinary board in September, over her initial suicide attempt, and was sentenced to spend two weeks in solitary confinement. In a statement posted to her support network’s website, Manning disclosed on Friday that she had made a second attempt to take her life October 4, during her first night in solitary.

    Following the attempt, Manning was moved into an observation unit called Alpha Tier and placed on suicide watch. She was reportedly kept in solitary in this unit as well.

    The four-page statement details a strange sequence of events she claims happened while she was in the Alpha unit.

    “On the night of Oct. 10, her statement says, four people impersonating guards conducted an hours long attack on the prison, during which she heard sounds indicating that the attackers were shooting and torturing her cell block’s actual guards,” the New York Times reports. “These attackers tried to induce Ms. Manning to escape, the statement says, but she did not cooperate. Instead, as the night unfolded, she hid in the corner of her cell, telling the imposters she knew they were not actual guards, it said.”

    “The next morning, Manning says, everything had returned to normal other than several correctional specialists were deep cleaning the entirety of Alpha Tier with Pine Sol and bleach.”

    The Army denied that the reported events occurred.

    Manning’s support network filed a complaint on her behalf with the Office of the Intelligence Community Inspector General, claiming that what Manning witnessed was actually an intelligence operation designed to torment her and entrap her into committing a crime.

    The group is asking the office to “document and investigate allegations of malicious activities with an intent to psychologically harm, abusive discretion by intelligence community officials, and potential criminal actions by intelligence community personnel.”

    Manning has been returned to the general prison population, though she may face additional sentencing for her second suicide attempt.

    Manning is currently serving a 35-year prison sentence at Leavenworth Prison in Kansas, for leaking classified government and military documents to Wikileaks, to show the American public the “true cost of war.” She was found guilty of violating the Espionage Act.

    “The documents she disclosed, which made her a hero to open-government activists, included diplomatic cables from American embassies around the world, incident logs from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, intelligence dossiers about Guantánamo Bay detainees and a video of a helicopter airstrike in Baghdad in which two Reuters journalists were killed. WikiLeaks made them public, working with various news organizations, including The Times,” the New York Times reported.

    In early September, Manning began a hunger strike, which she ended after the US military agreed to allow her treatment for gender dysmorphia.

    "This medical care is absolutely vital for Chelsea as it is for so many transgender people—in and out of prison— who are systemically denied treatment solely because they are transgender," Chase Strangio, an ACLU staff attorney who represents Manning, said in a statement at the time.

    In an ACLU press release, Fight for the Future campaign director Evan Greer said, "The US government’s treatment of Chelsea is a travesty. Those in charge should know that the whole world is watching, and we won’t stand idly by while this administration continues to harass and abuse Chelsea Manning."


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