[Pnews] Chelsea Manning's lawyers renew call to release her from jail

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Feb 19 16:28:49 EST 2020


  Chelsea Manning's lawyers renew call to release her from jail

Ed Pilkington - February 19, 2020
Lawyers acting for Chelsea Manning 
<https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/chelsea-manning>, the former US 
army intelligence analyst who leaked hundreds of thousands of secret 
documents to WikiLeaks, have renewed efforts to secure her release after 
almost a year of incarceration.

The former soldier’s attorney, Moira Meltzer-Cohen, has lodged a motion 
with a federal court in the eastern district of Virginia calling for her 
to be set free more than 11 months after she was detained.

Manning is being held at the Alexandria detention center after she 
refused to testify before a federal grand jury investigating WikiLeaks 
<https://www.theguardian.com/media/wikileaks> and its founder Julian 

In December the UN’s special rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer, 
Manning’s ongoing incarceration as itself a form of torture. In addition 
to being jailed the former soldier is also being heavily penalized 

For every day she refuses to testify, she is being fined $1,000. The 
total has already reached about $230,000.

In the motion 
for release, Meltzer-Cohen decries Manning’s prolonged incarceration as 
a form of unlawful “punitive sanction” on the grounds that it is serving 
no purpose because the inmate will never be coerced into testifying.

As the motion puts it: “Over the last decade Chelsea Manning has shown 
unwavering resolve in the face of censure, punishment, and even threats 
of violence. As Ms Manning’s resolve not to testify has been unwavering, 
and as her moral conviction has become only more developed since her 
confinement, her incarceration is not serving its only permissible purpose.”

Manning, who spent seven years 
in military prison for her massive intelligence dump to WikiLeaks in 
2010, refused to testify to the grand jury on a point of principle.

In a statement she explained her position was based on “my long standing 
belief that grand juries, as they function in the contemporary era, are 
often used by federal prosecutors to harass and disrupt political 
opponents and activists through secrecy, coercion, and jailing without 

She added: “No matter how much you punish me, I will remain confident in 
my decision.”

Manning initially refused to testify before a grand jury in the eastern 
district of Virginia in March 2019. She was called to ask questions 
about WikiLeaks and Assange who had been the subject of a secret US 
government investigation for years.

is now being held in Belmarsh prison in London. He faces extradition 
proceedings to the US after a grand jury returned 18 charges against him 
relating to receiving secret diplomatic and military documents.

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