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US Army upholds Chelsea Manning's 35-year sentence

Private Manning is escorted into court to receive his sentence at Fort Meade in Maryland Credit: Reuters

A United States Army general has ignored claims for clemency in upholding Private Chelsea Manning's conviction and 35-year prison sentence for handing over classified military and government documents to the anti-secrecy website Wikileaks.

The US Army military district of Washington has released a statement saying that Major General Jeffery Buchanan has taken 'final action' in the court-martial of the former intelligence analyst.

Manning was sentenced in August 2013 for six Espionage Act violations and 14 other offences for leaking more than 700,000 secret military and State Department documents while serving in Iraq in 2009 and 2010.

As commander of the military jurisdiction in which Private Manning's trial was held, General Buchanan could have reduced the court martial findings.


Manning waited for trial to end 'to not seem insincere'

Whistleblower soldier Bradley Manning decided to announce that he wanted to live as a woman the day after he was sentenced because a military prison said it would not provide hormone treatment, his lawyer said.

Bradley Manning emailed this picture to military superiors in 2010. Credit: Reuters

David Coombs said Manning, who now wants to be known as Chelsea, had known for a long time he would make such a statement, but "she wanted, essentially, for the media surrounding the trial to dissipate".

Manning did not want people to think the statement was insincere. "People might think it was an effort to get further attention," said Mr Coombs, of Providence, Rhode Island.

Read: Bradley Manning to be a woman

US Army 'does not provide hormone therapy'

The US Army says it does not provide hormone therapy, NBC News reports.

The lawyer for Bradley Manning, who wants to be known as Chelsea Manning and live life as a woman, said he would do "everything in [his] power" to make Fort Leavenworth provide the soldier with the therapy she has requested.

Manning lawyer expects jail to give hormone therapy

Bradley Manning's lawyer said his client chose this moment to announce a new identity to avoid overshadowing the court case.

Manning "wanted to wait until the case was done to move forward to the next stage of her life," lawyer David Coombs told NBC's Today show.

"As far as the hormone therapy - yes, I'm hoping Fort Leavenworth [where Manning will be jailed] would do the right thing and provide that," he said.

"If Fort Leavenworth does not then I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure that they are forced to do so."

He added that Manning's goal was not necessarily to be in a female-populated prison but "to be comfortable in her skin and to be the person that she has never had an opportunity to be."


Bradley Manning statement: I am a female

Bradley Manning released a statement to NBC News in which the former soldier requested to be known as Chelsea and to be referred to with the feminine pronoun:

As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female.

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.

I also request that, starting today, you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun (except in official mail to the confinement facility).

I look forward to receiving letters from supporters and having the opportunity to write back.

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