Chelsea Manning Released From Solitary Confinement
Above: Chelsea Manning speaks to reporters outside the U.S. federal courthouse shortly before appearing before a federal judge and being taken into custody for contempt of court in Alexandria, Virginia. Photo from Reuters.
“Chelsea is being tortured for whistleblowing, she should be released on bail, and we should ban extended solitary in the US,” Ocasio Cortez said.
After 28 days of incarceration, United States Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning has been released from solitary confinement and moved into the general population unit of the Truesdale Detention Center in Northern Virginia.
Manning refused to answer questions before a grand jury about her 2010 leak of hundreds of thousands of State Department and Pentagon documents about the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to WikiLeaks.
Since March 8, Manning has been imprisoned in contempt of court. That day she returned to a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia for a closed contempt hearing where U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton told her that she would remain in federal custody “until she purges or the end of the life of the grand jury” a statement from her representatives said.
Her solitary confinement has been akin to torture, U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez said. “Chelsea is being tortured for whistleblowing, she should be released on bail, and we should ban extended solitary in the US,” she tweeted.
Related: Chelsea Manning has been trapped in solitary confinement for refusing to answer questions before a Grand Jury.
Solitary confinement is torture.
Chelsea is being tortured for whistleblowing, she should be released on bail, and we should ban extended solitary in the US. https://t.co/95ef4xYt3k
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 2, 2019
Manning issued a statement a day prior to her arrest warning that she was prepared to face jail as she opposed grand juries in general and that her team thinks they “still have grounds to litigate,” the Washington Post reported then.
Even after being offered “immunity” for a testimony she still objected, stating that “In solidarity with many activists who face difficulties, I will maintain my principles. I will exhaust every legal remedy available. I am prepared to face the consequences of my refusal.”
Manning is a former U.S. Army soldier who served seven years in a military prison for leaking classified data regarding war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, while she was working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq. She was granted clemency by former U.S. President Barack Obama.
By serving her with a grand jury subpoena, “the government is attempting once again to punish an outspoken whistleblower for her historic disclosures” said a group of activists named the “Chelsea Resists” Support Committee. However, the Alexandria court has not confirmed that WikiLeaks and Assange are targets of the grand jury probe.