The Associated Press on Wednesday reported that defense
officials were trying to transfer Chelsea Manning, who seeks to
live as a woman, to a civilian prison to facilitate that
"No decision to transfer Private Manning to a civilian detention
facility has been made, and any such decision will, of course,
properly balance the soldier's medical needs with our obligation
to ensure Private Manning remains behind bars," Rear Admiral
John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement.
Defense officials said that one option under consideration was
transferring Manning to a civilian prison.
In April, a U.S. judge ruled that Manning, who had gone by the
name Bradley, could legally use the name Chelsea. Manning was
born as a man but identifies as a woman.
Manning is serving her sentence in all-male detention facilities
at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Kirby, in a statement issued to reporters during a visit by
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to Saudi Arabia, also said that
Hagel had approved a request from the U.S. Army to assess
"potential treatment options for inmates diagnosed with gender
dysphoria", which refers to individuals who experience
discontent with their gender.
Last year, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for
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.
Manning has repeatedly stated her desire to live as a woman and
has requested hormone replacement therapy in prison, but so far
Army officials have denied those requests, and said that Manning
will continue to be treated as a man despite the name change.
Manning worked as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad when she
gave WikiLeaks the government material, which also included a
2007 video of a U.S. Apcache helicopter firing at suspected
militants in Baghdad, killing two Reuters employees.
(Reporting by Missy Ryan; Editing by Alison Williams)
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