Chelsea Manning Hospitalized After Reported Suicide Attempt
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Manning was unlawfully imprisoned last March (again in May after briefly released) for invoking her constitutional right of silence — refusing to give grand jury testimony to aid the Trump regime’s attempted crucifixion of Julian Assange.
For the past year and during her earlier 7-year (2010 – 2017) ordeal for revealing information about US high crimes of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, her First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eight Amendment rights were violated.
Scheduled to appear in Alexandria, VA federal court Friday for a hearing on a petition to end her punitive incarceration, a statement by Alexandria sheriff Dana Lawhorne said the following on Wednesday:
“There was an incident at approximately 12:11 p.m. today at the Alexandria Adult Detention Center involving inmate Chelsea Manning. It was handled appropriately by our professional staff and Ms. Manning is safe.”
Spokesman for Manning’s legal team attorney Andy Stepanian she’s “still scheduled to appear on Friday for a previously-calendared hearing, at which Judge Anthony Trenga will rule on a motion to terminate the civil contempt sanctions stemming from her (March and) May 2019 refusal to give testimony before a grand jury investigating the publication of her 2010 disclosures,” adding:
“Her actions today evidence the strength of her convictions, as well as the profound harm she continues to suffer as a result of her ‘civil’ confinement — a coercive practice that the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, recently said violates international law.”
She “remains unwavering in her refusal to participate in a secret grand jury process that she sees as highly susceptible to abuse.”
Her lawyers reported her suicide attempt with no further elaboration, saying she “previously indicated that she will not betray her principles, even at risk of grave harm to herself.”
According to London’s Daily Mail, Manning “attempted suicide inside her Virginia jail cell and was resuscitated by prison guards,” adding:
She “tried to hang herself with a sheet…(F)ound about 1pm (Wednesday, she) had a pulse (and) was breathing while en route to the hospital.”
“A jail deputy discovered her while conducting a check in the special housing unit where Chelsea is being housed,’ a source told DailyMail.com.”
“They found her with a sheet around her neck. Other deputies arrived and first aid was administered before she was taken to the hospital.”
“It was a close run thing. Chelsea was unconscious. She was blue and unresponsive, but the deputies were able to resuscitate her,” according to the unnamed Daily Mail source.
Manning has been held in repressive solitary confinement up to 23 hours daily — conditions authorities call highly restrictive, high-custody housing units, inmates isolated from the general prison population.
She’s in a windowless 8 x 10 feet cell devoid of human contact, sunlight, and fresh air.
Oppressive conditions aim to crush the human spirit, mind and body — breaching the 8th Amendment’s prohibition against “cruel and unusual punishments.”
Protracted isolation from sensory deprivation can cause irreversible trauma. Some prisoners become zombies.
Others become sociopaths. PTSD symptoms are rife, including panic attacks, lethargy, insomnia, nightmares, dizziness, social withdrawal, memory and appetite loss, delusions and hallucinations, profound despair and hopelessness, as well as suicidal thoughts.
Longterm isolation is like being buried alive, former prisoners explain.
Law Professor Judith Resnik earlier explained that “(s)olitary confinement is disabling (and) harmful for human health and safety,” adding:
“It can do harm for people who are mentally OK and inflict terrible damage on people who are already mentally ill.”
It’s torture by any standard. Yet the practice exists in most US states and in federal prisons.
No one should be locked in a cage with minimal or no human contact under any conditions.
On Friday in Alexandria district court, Manning’s attorneys will argue for her release from punitive incarceration on grounds that she’s “incoercible…her confinement…transformed from a coercive into a punitive sanction, and thus is in violation of the law.”
Her resolve and moral conviction are “unwavering,” proved time and again for the past decade.
Continuing her indefinite detention constitutes “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
Earlier Manning said: “No matter how much you punish me, I will remain confident in my decision.”
“I have been separated from my loved ones, deprived of sunlight, and could not even attend my mother’s funeral.”
“It is easier to endure these hardships now than to cooperate to win back some comfort, and live the rest of my life knowing that I acted out of self-interest and not principle.”
She can’t be coerced, pressured, or otherwise pushed to violate her moral and ethical standards.
No matter the outcome of Friday’s hearing, she remains steadfast to her principles.
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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”