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Chelsea Manning reassures supporters after failed suicide attempt

Manning is currently serving a 35-year jail sentence for leaking classified military information to the website WikiLeaks
Abigail Edward holds up a sign advocating the release of WikiLeaks whistle blower Chelsea Manning along the Gay Pride parade route in San Francisco (AFP)

US whistleblower Chelsea Manning has reassured supporters that she is “glad to be alive” despite being hospitalised after a failed suicide attempt last week.

Manning, who is currently serving a 35-year jail sentence for leaking military documents to the website WikiLeaks, tweeted out the reassurance early on Tuesday morning, adding the hashtag #standwithchelsea:

On Monday, Manning’s attorneys Chase Strangio, Vincent Ward and Nancy Hollander released a statement in which they confirmed she had attempted suicide.

“Last week, Chelsea made a decision to end her life,” read the statement.

“Her attempt to take her own life was unsuccessful. She knows that people have questions about how she is doing and she wants everyone to know that she remains under close observation by the prison and expects to remain on this status for the next several weeks.”

Manning was taken to a local hospital near the US Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in the early hours of 5 July, a military spokesperson confirmed.

The spokesperson added that army officials would "continue to monitor the inmate's condition."

Private Manning - who went by the name Bradley prior to beginning a gender transition process - was first arrested in May 2010 and ultimately charged with 22 offences, including having "wantonly [caused] to be published on the internet intelligence belonging to the US government, having knowledge that intelligence published on the internet is accessible to the enemy,” an offence that could have potentially provoked the death penalty.

Among the hundreds of thousands of documents released by Manning to WikiLeaks was the now infamous “Collateral Murder” video which appeared to show gunsight footage from a US Apache helicopter as it fired upon a group of Iraqi men, killing as many as 18 people including two correspondents from Reuters.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is currently hold-up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London after being threatened with extradition to Sweden for questioning over alleged sexual assault offences.

He has been in the embassy for four years and is thought to be in poor health.