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Chelsea Manning freed from jail – but may have to return within days

Chelsea Manning freed from jail – but may have to return within days

Chelsea Manning

Whistleblower and former US army intelligence officer Chelsea Manning has been released from jail.

Manning, 31, was released from the William G Truesdale adult detention center in Alexandria, Virginia, yesterday. She was imprisoned for 62 days for refusing to testify before a US grand jury about Wikileaks.

This was Manning’s second spell of incarceration. She was sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2013 for her involvement with a leak of military information. She believed the information incriminated the US military’s actions abroad and the public deserved to know about it.

Manning served seven years in prison (2010-2017), before outgoing US President Obama commuted the sentence. During her time in jail, she announced she was transitioning and took the name Chelsea.

Threat of further imprisonment for refusing to testify

Although free again, Manning faces the threat of further imprisonment. On the day of her release, her lawyers say she received another Grand Jury summons to testify about her knowledge of Wikileaks.

The summons orders her to appear before a Grand Jury – potentially as soon as 16 May. However, Manning has repeatedly said that she will refuse to testify on principle.

Earlier this week she released a statement saying: ‘After two months of confinement, and using every legal mechanism available so far, I can —without any hesitation— state that nothing will convince me to testify before this or any other grand jury for that matter.

‘This experience so far only proves my long held belief that grand juries are simply outdated tools used by the federal government to harass and disrupt political opponents and activists in fishing expeditions…

‘The way I am being treated proves what a corrupt and abusive tool this truly is. With each passing day my disappointment and frustration grow, but so too do my commitments to doing the right thing and continuing to refuse to submit…’

If Manning refuses to appear, she could again be sent to prison.

See also

Chelsea Manning denied bail, remains in jail for refusing to testify