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Former Oklahoma soldier Manning could be transferred to civilian prison for gender treatment

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Former Oklahoma soldier Chelsea Manning.

WASHINGTON – Pentagon officials say Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has approved an Army request to transfer convicted National Security leaker Private Bradley, now known as Chelsea Manning to a civilian prison.

The reason behind the possible transfer is so Manning can get the treatment for her transition to a woman.

Manning, who was convicted of sending classified documents to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, asked for hormone therapy and to be able to live as a woman.

According to USA Today, Manning’s lawyer is not happy with her possible transfer to a civilian prison.

“The Pentagon’s strategic leak of this story to the media is a transparent attempt to pressure Chelsea into dropping her request for needed treatment under the artificial guise of concern for her medical needs,” David Coombs, Manning’s lawyer, said in a statement. “It is common knowledge that the federal prison system cannot guarantee the safety and security of Chelsea in the way that the military prison system can.”

The policy director for an advocacy group for LGBT troops and veterans says granting Manning’s request is the humane thing to do.

“It is the constitutional right of every American to be spared cruel and unusual punishment for their crimes,” said Allyson Robinson, policy director for SPARTA. “The Pentagon’s decision reflects their acknowledgement that the treatments Manning requires are medically necessary, and that withholding them would be cruel and unusual, a violation of her Eighth Amendment rights. We should expect an institution charged with defending our Constitution to do no less.”

Under current military regulations, no transgender people are allowed to serve in the U.S. Military but Manning cannot be discharged from service while serving her 35 year prison sentence at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.

No word on when the transfer will take place.

For more on the story, visit USA Today.