Monday, 27 May, 2019

Chelsea Manning ordered to jail again after refusing subpoena

ALEXANDRIA VIRGINIA- MAY 16 Former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning addresses reporters before entering the Albert Bryan U.S federal courthouse Chelsea Manning Ordered Back to Jail Again After Refusing to Testify in Wiki Leaks Case 2,152Win McNamee Getty ImagesBREITBART NEWS16 May 2019
Patty Aguilar | 18 May, 2019, 04:22

This isn't the former U.S. Army intelligence analyst's first time in jail for refusing a grand jury subpoena in this particular case.

Manning's imprisonment Thursday came exactly one week after she was released following a 62-day stint in jail-including a month in solitary confinement-for refusing to testify before a grand jury that, as the Guardian reported, "is presumed to relate to the criminal prosecution" of WikiLeaks founder and publisher Julian Assange, who is now fighting the Trump administration's attempt to extradite him to the United States.

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".

The whistleblower was released from the Alexandria Detention Center in Virginia last Thursday, after 62 days in confinement on contempt of court charges.

During the hearing, US District Judge Anthony Trenga said it was "unfortunate we're at this point", but that, despite Manning's pleadings otherwise, he believed further jail time might still prove coercive. I would rather starve to death than to change my opinions in this regard. She was convicted of espionage and sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2013, though she had her sentenced commuted by former-President Barack Obama and released in 2017 after serving seven years.

Chelsea Manning addresses reporters before entering the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia, on May 16, 2019.

If Manning refuses to comply with the grand jury subpoena after 60 days, the fine will increase to $1,000 per day.

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In a statement Thursday, Manning's attorney Moira Meltzer-Cohen said she was "disappointed" in Trenga's decision to detain her client, but did not expect Manning to change course in her refusal to testify.

An appointee of President George W. Bush who ruled in favor of Trump's xenophobic anti-Muslim travel ban, Trenga instead ordered Manning to be jailed immediately after a two-hour hearing.

Manning was released because the previous subpoena expired.

"There's nothing new", Manning said Thursday during a press conference before her court hearing in Alexandria. In addition to being in jail, the judge ordered Manning to start paying 500 dollars per day in fines after 30 days in jail and one thousand dollars per day after 69 days. She said the isolation caused her "extraordinary pain" and that she was sometimes in a "dissociative stupor". Manning says she would rather die.

The new grand jury subpoena appears to be related to the United States prosecution of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, who was arrested last month and is now awaiting his extradition hearing in the UK.

"The only thing that is being asked of her is to come answer questions truthfully", he said.

The whistleblower, who leaked 750,000 classified military files to WikiLeaks, had vowed in interviews and a Twitch live stream through the past week that she would not testify to the grand jury and protested the secrecy of proceedings.

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