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Imprisoned US soldier Manning 'guilty' of breaking jail rules

A cutout of Bradley Manning is held up in front of the White House [Kirkpatrick/Getty]

Date of publication: 19 August, 2015

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US soldier Chelsea Manning jailed for releasing documents to Wikileaks implicating US in rights violations was found guilty on Tuesday of 'violating jail rules'.
Chelsea Manning, the transgender US soldier serving a 35-year sentence for leaking materials which pointed to potential human rights violations and breaches of international humanitarian law by US troops abroad  said Tuesday she is temporarily barred from recreational activities for possessing contraband items and for "disorderly conduct."  

Manning was 'found guilty' Tuesday of violating prison rules and will receive three weeks of recreational restrictions at the Kansas military prison, her attorney said.

The Army private was accused of having a copy of Vanity Fair with Caitlyn Jenner - the former US Olympian who underwent a sex change - on the cover and an expired tube of toothpaste, among other things. Her attorney, Chase Strangio of the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a news release that Manning was convicted of all charges after a closed four-hour disciplinary board hearing in which she had no counsel.

Manning said on Twitter she could not use the gym, library or go outdoors for three weeks after the board found her guilty.

The US Army has declined to release any information on the results of the hearing, citing the Privacy Act of 1976. 

"When I spoke to Chelsea earlier today she wanted to convey the message to supporters that she is so thankful for the thousands of people from around the world who let the government know that we are watching and scrutinizing what happens to her behind prison walls," Strangio said.

Strangio credited public support for keeping Manning out of solitary confinement. Petitions signed by 100,000 people were delivered Tuesday to the US Army by digital rights group Fight for the Future and others.

In addition to the recreational restrictions, the convictions that are now on her record could be cited in future hearings concerning parole or clemency, which could delay her transition to a less restrictive custody status, Strangio said.

The intelligence analyst, formerly known as Bradley Manning, was convicted in 2013 of espionage and other offenses for sending more than 700,000 classified documents to WikiLeaks while working in Iraq. She is jailed at Fort Leavenworth for leaking reams of war logs, diplomatic cables and battlefield video to the anti-secrecy website in 2010.

US officials describe Manning's document dump as the biggest leak of classified files in American history.

Manning has become something of a dual symbol, embodying the fight against government secrecy and the plight of transgender Americans.

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