August 13, 2015 / 3:58 AM / 4 years ago

Chelsea Manning could face solitary confinement at military prison

(Reuters) - Chelsea Manning, a soldier imprisoned for leaking classified U.S. information to pro-transparency site WikiLeaks, could face solitary confinement on charges she violated prison rules by having prohibited reading material, her attorney said on Wednesday.

Manning was convicted in 2013 of providing more than 700,000 documents, videos, diplomatic cables and battlefield accounts to WikiLeaks, in the biggest breach of classified materials in U.S. history.

The former intelligence analyst, who was born a man but identifies as a woman, is serving a 35-year sentence at an all-male military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Manning has been charged with a number of disciplinary infractions and will attend a hearing before a three-person discipline adjustment board on Aug. 18 at the prison, attorney Nancy Hollander said.

The alleged disciplinary infractions on July 2 and July 9 included attempted disrespect, the possession of prohibited books and magazines while under administrative segregation, medicine misuse pertaining to expired toothpaste and disorderly conduct for pushing food onto the floor, Hollander said.

The maximum penalty she faces is indefinite solitary confinement.

Items confiscated from Manning included a Vanity Fair magazine with former Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner, who is transitioning to life as a woman, posing in a white strapless leotard on the cover.

“I think it’s harassment,” Hollander said.

The attorney added that Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning before changing her name after her arrest, had some gay and transgender-themed books and novels

“It appears to be an attempt to silence her. Chelsea writes quite a bit. She is vocal. Certainly its not a national security issue.”

Men carry a sign urging freedom for convicted national security leaker Pvt. Chelsea Manning during the 44th annual Los Angeles Pride parade in West Hollywood, California June 8, 2014. REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn

A Pentagon spokeswoman was unaware of the charges and directed inquires to the U.S. Army, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment or to clarify what kind of reading material was banned at the prison.

Manning worked as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad when she gave WikiLeaks the government material.

The Pentagon said last year the U.S. Army will provide gender identity treatment for Manning.. Hollander said the Army is providing hormone treatment for Manning.

Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Victoria Cavaliere, Robert Birsel

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