Group: Chelsea Manning’s health threatened by solitary confinement

Representatives for Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst behind one of the largest leaks of classified information in US history, are arguing for her removal from solitary confinement, saying it threatens her health and surmounts to “torture.”

On Saturday, Manning’s “support committee” said that she has been kept in her cell for 22 hours a day — which they say constitutes solitary confinement.

“Chelsea can’t be out of her cell while any other prisoners are out, so she cannot talk to other people, or visit the law library, and has no access to books or reading material,” the committee, Chelsea Resists, said in a statement. “She has not been outside for 16 days. She is permitted to make phone calls and move about outside her cell between 1 and 3 a.m.”

Later Saturday, Dana Lawhorne, the sheriff of Alexandria, Virginia, where Manning is being held, pushed back on the claims made by her supporters, saying they’re “not accurate or fair.”

“Our facility does not have ‘solitary confinement’ and inmates housed in administrative segregation for safety and security reasons still have access to social visits, books, recreation, and break time outside their cells,” Lawhorne said, adding that “(the) federal government has never suggested to us how to treat any inmate and it is unfair to imply that there is a ‘conspiracy’ of any kind.”

Manning has been detained for just more than two weeks in Alexandria after a judge found her in contempt of court for refusing to answer questions about her 2010 disclosures to WikiLeaks before a grand jury.

Earlier this week, a spokesman for Manning’s support committee told CNN she has been receiving her post-operative medical needs and hormones. In October, Manning acknowledged on