Chelsea Manning jailed for refusing to testify before a grand jury


Chelsea manning

Taylor Hudak

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Chelsea Manning is in custody for refusing to testify on Friday before an Eastern District of Virginia grand jury investigating WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.

Manning told reporters that despite being granted immunity in exchange for her testimony, she will not testify. The former army intelligence analyst cited her disapproval of the grand jury process as one reason for not answering questions in a closed hearing.

“I think that in the interest of transparency, what we really want to do is get the motion made public because it’s currently sealed,” said Manning.

Earlier this week, Manning appeared in an Alexandria court to quash the subpoena requiring her to testify. Federal Judge Claude Hilton denied the request. Yet, Manning revealed to reporters she is willing to face the consequences associated with her unwillingness to cooperate.

“I don’t believe in the grand jury process. I don’t believe in the secrecy of this.”

 This is the same district that inadvertently revealed last year that WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange was being charged by the US government.

 Manning’s association with WikiLeaks began in 2010 when it became public she leaked classified military documents revealing the United States military killed two Reuter’s journalists and civilians in Baghdad during the Iraq war.

However, the court proceedings from earlier this week have less to do with Manning and more to do with the activities of WikiLeaks. 

The organization posted to Twitter, “Whistleblower Chelsea Manning has been placed in jail to coerce her to testify… Whistleblowers are now being forced to testify against journalists. A new angle in the attack on media freedom.”

 Manning served seven years of a 35-year prison sentence that was commuted by former president Barack Obama in 2017. 

Chelsea Manning remains jailed for contempt of court in Virginia. Judge Hilton says Manning will remain in jail until she testifies or until the grand jury completes its process.