illustration of chelsea manning looking at viewer

Illustration by Max Fleishman

‘Last week, Chelsea made a decision to end her life,’ Manning’s attorneys said in a statement.

Chelsea Manning attempted suicide in prison last week, a lawyer for the former U.S. Army analyst has confirmed.

“Last week, Chelsea made a decision to end her life,” the 28-year-old prisoner’s attorneys said in a statement. “Her attempt to take her own life was unsuccessful.”

Manning, who was convicted under the Espionage Act in July 2013, is currently serving a 35-year prison sentence for leaking sensitive government files to WikiLeaks.

On Monday, Manning was in contact with her lawyers for the first time since her suicide attempt in the early hours of June 5. The attorneys—Vincent Ward, Nancy Hollander, and Chase Strangio of the ACLU—told the Daily Dot last week that Army doctors had refused to connect their calls.

In a potential violation of HIPAA, a 1996 law that requires the protection and confidential handling of protected health information, Manning’s suicide attempt was leaked to the press by a U.S. official who was granted anonymity in exchange for the information.

Unable to communicate with her client for nearly a week, Hollander said she was “shocked and outraged” by the leak, which was published by CNN and TMZ.

“She is someone who has fought so hard for so many issues we care about and we are honored to fight for her freedom and medical care.”

According to her attorneys, Manning “would have preferred to keep her medical information private, and instead focus on her recovery,” however, the leak has raised concerns “that they may continue their unauthorized release of information about her publicly without warning.”

“She knows that people have questions about how she is doing and she wants everyone to know that she remains under close observation by the prison and expects to remain on this status for the next several weeks,” the lawyers continued. 

“For us, hearing Chelsea’s voice after learning that she had attempted to take her life last week was incredibly emotional,” they said. “She is someone who has fought so hard for so many issues we care about and we are honored to fight for her freedom and medical care.”

For more information about suicide prevention or to speak with someone confidentially, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (U.S.) or Samaritans (U.K.). 

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