Chelsea Manning Jailed for Contempt of Court

Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Manning, who served time in prison for leaking classified documents, has been sent to jail for refusing to testify before a grand jury about WikiLeaks.

Claude M. Hilton, a federal judge in Alexandria, Va., found Manning in contempt of court Friday, The Washington Post reports. He ordered her to be held in custody either until she testifies or until the grand jury’s work is over.

The grand jury’s work is secret, but Manning said she was asked about WikiLeaks, the website with which she shared classified government documents in 2010. A former Army intelligence specialist, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in military prison for doing so. She served seven years before President Obama commuted the remainder of her sentence shortly before he left office in 2017.

Manning, who came out as transgender in 2013, told reporters outside the court that she was ready to go to jail again for taking a stand. She has no objection to testifying, she said, but she does not wish to do so in secret. “These secret proceedings tend to favor the government,” she said, according to the Post. “I’m always willing to explain things publicly.” She carried transcripts from her trial, and she said they contained all the information prosecutors needed.

Her attorney, Moira Meltzer-Cohen, said it would be “an act of tremendous cruelty” to jail Manning, who may face difficulties because of her gender identity. She said prosecutors did show willingness to assure that Manning receives the medical care she needs for her gender transition. Prosecutor Tracy McCormick said the jail in question, which was not identified by the Post, has previously accommodated both transgender people and public figures, and Judge Hilton said Manning could call on the court if she had problems. Manning had attempted suicide twice while in military prison and had gone on a hunger strike because of what she called bullying and mistreatment by authorities.

Since being released, Manning made news by becoming a candidate for U.S. Senate from Maryland. She lost in the Democratic primary last year.

Watch Manning discuss her political campaign as well as her time in prison from a previous interview below.

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