Chelsea Manning may sue prison over its refusal to provide hormone therapy

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The lawyer for Chelsea Manning says she may sue the jail where she is serving out her prison sentence because it’s refusing to provide her with hormone therapy.

Her attorney David Coombs told the Associated Press that Manning hoped the prison “will simply do the right thing” so she won’t have to sue.

Manning, 25, is at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas and serving 35 years for leaking classified material to the website WikiLeaks. She was sentenced last Wednesday.

The Obama administration said the leaks threatened valuable military and diplomatic sources – but supporters say Manning’s efforts exposed alleged war crimes carried out by the US military in Iraq.

In a statement last week to NBC’s Today show, Manning said: “I am Chelsea Manning. I am female,” adding: “Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition.”

Mr Coombs said Manning decided to announce that she wanted to live as a woman the day after her sentencing because the prison said publicly it would not provide hormone treatment.

He insisted it was not a ploy for further publicity. Mr Coombs said: “She wants, essentially, the media surround the trial to dissipate.”

He also added that she has offered to cover the cost of the treatment herself.