Military Law

Army OKs hormone therapy for Chelsea Manning, who was sentenced to 35 years in WikiLeaks case

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In a first for the U.S. Army, the commandant of the Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, military prison where Chelsea Manning is being held has approved female hormone treatment.

Manning, a former intelligence analyst who was convicted of espionage as Bradley Manning in a high-profile case for providing classified documents to WikiLeaks, is serving a 35-year sentence. She announced her plan to live as a woman immediately after her sentencing in the case and later filed a federal lawsuit to obtain treatment for a gender disorder.

Hormone treatment for Manning was approved in a Feb. 5 memo by Col. Erica Nelson that was obtained Thursday by USA Today.

The Associated Press and CNN also have stories.

“We are thrilled for Chelsea that the government has finally agreed to initiate hormone therapy as part of her treatment plan,” said Manning’s lawyer, Chase Strangio of the American Civil Liberties Union. “This is an important first step in Chelsea’s treatment regimen and one that is in line with the recommendations of all of her doctors and the basic requirements of the Eighth Amendment.”

However, the Army’s decision to let Manning get hormone treatment does not lay to rest all issues she sued to resolve, Strangio told CNN. Among those remaining issues is whether Manning will be permitted to use female hair-grooming standards while imprisoned.

“The military continues to refuse to let Chelsea grow her hair like other female prisoners, a critical part of her treatment plan that has been recognized by her doctors,” Strangio said.

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