Chelsea Manning ends hunger strike for gender transition surgery

Manning tried to commit suicide over what her lawyers say was the government's ill-treatmant of her condition. (File Photo: AP)

US soldier Chelsea Manning, serving a 35-year prison term for passing classified files to WikiLeaks, ended her hunger strike on Tuesday after the Army said she would be allowed to receive gender transition surgery, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said.

Manning's treatment will begin with the surgery that was recommended by her psychologist in April, the ACLU, which represented Manning, said in a statement. Manning is held in Kansas.

“I am unendingly relieved that the military is finally doing the right thing. I applaud them for that. This is all that I wanted — for them to let me be me,” Manning said in a statement, though she went on to criticize the government for taking “so long.”

Manning in July tried to commit suicide over what her representatives said was the government's denial of appropriate treatment for her gender dysphoria, a condition in which a person feels their physical gender is the opposite of the one he or she identifies with.

The Army announced later that month that it would investigate Manning for misconduct in connection with the attempt to take her own life, a probe that could lead to indefinite solitary confinement, reclassification into maximum security or additional prison time.

Manning, a former intelligence analyst in Iraq, was sentenced in 2013 to 35 years in prison after a military court conviction of providing more than 700,000 documents, videos, battlefield accounts to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks. The case ranked as the biggest breach of classified materials in US history.

Among the files Manning leaked in 2010 was a gunsight video of a US Apache helicopter firing on suspected Iraqi insurgents in 2007, an attack that killed a dozen people, including two Reuters news staff.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:52 - GMT 06:52
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