Jailed transgender soldier Chelsea Manning is facing “administrative offenses” related to her July 5 suicide attempt that could result in indefinite solitary confinement, her attorneys have said.
Manning, who was convicted in 2013 on espionage charges for sending more than 700,000 classified documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, was briefly hospitalized earlier this month for an unknown medical condition. It was later confirmed that she had tried to end her own life.
Army officials quickly returned Manning from the hospital to the all-male U.S. Disciplinary Barracks in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where she is currently serving a 35-year sentence. On Thursday, Manning's attorneys at the American Civil Liberties Union learned that the Army had informed her she was being investigated for serious new charges related to the suicide attempt.
“It is deeply troubling that Chelsea is now being subjected to an investigation and possible punishment for her attempt to take her life,” said ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio in a statement. “The government has long been aware of Chelsea's distress associated with the denial of medical care related to her gender transition and yet delayed and denied the treatment recognized as necessary. Now, while Chelsea is suffering the darkest depression she has experienced since her arrest, the government is taking actions to punish her for that pain. It is unconscionable, and we hope that the investigation is immediately ended and that she is given the health care that she needs to recover.”
According to the ACLU, the new charges against Manning include “resisting the force cell move team,” “prohibited property” and “conduct which threatens.” Manning dictated the complete contents of the charge sheet to a supporter in a phone conversation, the transcript of which was posted on the ACLU’s website.
If convicted, Manning could face indefinite solitary confinement, reclassification into maximum security and an additional nine years in medium custody, the ACLU said in a press release. She could also lose any chance of parole.
A spokesman for the Army did not return NBC News’ request for comment as of this publication.
It’s not the first time Manning has faced the possibility of indefinite solitary confinement. Last year, she was tried on charges of disorderly conduct for sweeping food onto the floor and medicine misuse for having an expired tube of toothpaste, among other things. Manning was found guilty and sentenced to 21 days without access to recreation, including the gym, library and outdoors.