Chelsea Manning ordered back to jail for contempt

Chelsea Manning ordered back to jail for contempt

"Facing jail again, potentially today, doesn't change my stance", she said before today's hearing. "It doesn't matter what it is, I'm just not going to comply or cooperate".

Manning's lawyer, Moira Meltzer-Cohen, said after the hearing that her client would not back down. If Manning continues to refuse testimony and remains in jail after 30 days, she will be fined $500 for every subsequent day behind bars.

While she was not at liberty to discuss the specifics of the investigation, she indicated that it also was a probe of Assange and WikiLeaks' actions in 2010. "It is telling that the US has always been concerned with the disclosure of those documents than their damning substance".

Manning gained prominence when she was sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2013 for the unauthorized disclosure of classified materials made public by WikiLeaks in 2010.

Her sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama in 2017 on the very last day of his second term in office, in an effort to paper over his administration's record of pursuing whistleblowers.

United States Marshals took Manning back into custody at the U.S. District Courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia, Thursday afternoon after she refused to cooperate, yet again, with a subpoena to testify before another secret federal grand jury.

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US prosecutors publicly released the indictment against Assange after he was evicted from Ecuador's London embassy, where he took refuge in 2012 fearing extradition to the United States or Sweden. Assange has been charged with conspiring with Manning to break into military computers to help her transmit a vast trove of USA state secrets to the open information organization in 2010.

Representatives for Manning had previously said she was kept in her cell for 22 hours a day, arguing that such solitary confinement threatened her health and amounted to "torture".

Assange remains in England and has vowed to fight extradition to the United States.

The judge ordered Manning remain in custody until agreeing to testify, or until the new grand jury term expires in 18 months.

But her freedom was short-lived. Judge Anthony Trenga was not impressed with her rationale and said that jail time may cause her to reflect differently on the issue. "I would rather starve to death than to change my opinion in this regard", Manning told Judge Trenga during the public portion of Thursday's hearing. A federal appeals court rejected her argument for release - that her rights were violated by the subpoena proceedings and the federal prosecutors purportedly seeking to entrap her - in April.

Manning, whose arrest was confirmed by members of her support committee, was detained after refusing to answer questions concerning her past association with WikiLeaks.

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