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