Chelsea Manning was hospitalized following a suicide attempt on Wednesday, according to Gizmodo reporter Dell Cameron. Manning, an American activist, and whistleblower was set to appear in court on Friday.
Manning’s team of lawyers, led by Moira Meltzer-Cohen, confirmed to Gizmodo that Manning attempted suicide. They said she “is recovering” in the hospital. On March 12, the judge ordered her release from prison.
The 32-year-old transgender woman, whose birth name was Bradly Manning, was being held at the Alexandria detention center after refusing to testify against Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, as reported by The Guardian. For each day that Manning refused to testify before the grand jury, she was being fined $1,000. As of February 19, she’d amassed about $230,000 in fines.
Manning previously spent seven years in military prison for her involvement in the Wikileaks scandal. She was sent to jail again in March 2019, and in May 2019 for refusing to testify. She told Judge Anthony J. Trenga of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, “I would rather starve than change my principles in this regard.”
As reported by The Washinton Blade, Manning stated that she’s twice before attempted suicide. The first time was in July 2016, and then again in November. Following the second attempt, she was placed in solitary confinement while in military prison.
Manning Sparked Worry That She Was Planning To Commit Suicide Again In May 2018
The former U.S. soldier previously sparked worries that she was contemplating suicide last year, after sharing a series of disturbing tweets. In one of the since-deleted tweets she wrote, “I’m sorry, I tried. I’m sorry I let you all down – I’m not really cut out for this world – I tried adapting to this world out here but I failed you. I couldn’t do this anymore. I can take people I don’t know hating me but not my own friends. I tried and I’m sorry about my failure.”
The second tweet included a photo that showed her two feet standing high on a ledge with cars on the street below. She tweeted the picture with the simple caption, “I’m sorry.”
Afterward, someone took over Mannings’ Twitter account to reassure her followers that she was safe. From Mannings’ official account the tweet read, “Chelsea is safe. She is on the phone with friends, thank everyone for your concern and please giver her some space.”
President Obama Commuted Manning’s 35-Year Prison Sentence
In January 2017, President Barack Obama reduced Manning’s prison sentence a mere three days before President Trump’s inauguration. Manning was initially sentenced to 35 years in prison for being an asset in one of the largest leaks of U.S. classified information. On January 17, President Obama also granted clemency for 209 others and granted pardons to 64 individuals, including Baseball Hall of Fame member. Willie McCovey.
If Obama didn’t step in on her behalf, Manning would’ve been in prison for her involvement in Wikileaks until 2045. As for Julian Assange, he’s being held in London’s Belmarsh Prison.