Chelsea Manning Jailed For Refusing To Testify Against Julian Assange To Secret Grand Jury

  • On Tuesday Manning was subpoenaed to testify in front of a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks and Julian Assange
  • Manning was found in contempt of court for refusing to testify in front of the grand jury
  • Judge Claude H. Hilton placed Manning in custody on Friday
  • Manning could remain in custody until the term of the grand jury is over or no longer than 18 months

Former Army intelligence analyst turned whistleblower Chelsea Manning, 31, has been taken into custody after refusing to testify against WikiLeaks and its owner Julian Assange in front of a secret Grand Jury.

Manning was told she faced contempt of court if she did not testify in front of a grand jury that is reportedly investigating WikiLeaks and Assange. In 2010, Manning provided WikiLeaks along with Adrian Lamo with archives of classified military documents. Lamo would later indirectly inform the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command that Manning had leaked classified material.

Manning was arrested that same year and charged with 22 offenses. On February 2013, she pleaded guilty to ten of her charges. On July 30, 2013, Manning was convicted of 17 of the original charges along with four other charges that were amended. Manning was acquitted of aiding the enemy charge, which can carry a death sentence. She was sentenced to 35-years maximum-security U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth. Manning was released after seven years after President Barack Obama commuted her sentence.

On Friday, Judge Claude H. Hilton of Federal District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia sentenced Manning to the woman’s wing of a federal detention center in Alexandria, Virginia. Manning will have to stay in the detention center until she is ready to testify, which she is not willing to do. For defying a grand-jury subpoena, Manning could remain in contempt until the jury term is over or no longer than 18 months.

Read: Police Conduct Welfare Check On Chelsea Manning With Guns Drawn

On Tuesday, Manning appeared for her subpoena to testify in front of the Grand Jury. In a video from Ford Fischer of News2Share, Manning openly spoke against the secrecy involved in Grand Jury hearings and their consistency of being “partial” to the government. Manning said she could only speculate as to why the government wants her to testify over something she already testified on almost ten years ago. “We know very little,” Manning said.

In a video from Fischer after Manning’s Tuesday hearing she claimed a motion to quash had not bee approved. Manning learned nothing more as to why she has been subpoenaed to testify. “We didn’t learn anything apart from there was a whole lot of government lawyers in there.” Others also gathered and spoke in support of Manning.

On Friday, video from Fischer shows Manning before going into her contempt hearing. Her contempt hearing was a sealed hearing. Meaning the press and the public were not allowed despite a request from Manning for an open the trial. Manning is no stranger to these secret proceedings. She claimed the court was in violation of her First, Fourth, and Sixth Amendment rights. She recognized there was a probability she was going into custody after the hearing.

I have a history of having to deal with secrecy and a lot of these secret proceedings. They tend to favor the government. They tend to allow nefarious goings-on to happen. I am in general opposition of these types of proceedings taking place.

After the hearing, Manning’s attorney Moira Meltzer-Cohen said it was a “typical outcome for this type of hearing.” Meltzer-Cohen said they would most likely appeal.

The following statement was later released through Manning’s Twitter after she was in custody.

I will not comply with this, or any other grand jury. Imprisoning me for my refusal to answer questions only subjects me to additional punishment for my repeatedly-stated ethical objections to the grand jury system.

The grand jury’s questions pertained to disclosures from nine years ago, and took place six years after an in-depth computer forensics case, in which I testified for almost a full day about these events. I stand by my previous public testimony.

I will not participate in a secret process that I morally object to, particularly one that has been historically used to entrap and persecute activists for protected political speech.

Chelsea Manning

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Meko Haze is an independent journalist by day... and an independent journalist by night.

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