Mar 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Judge orders Chelsea Manning to be released from jail

Manning speaks to the press in Alexandria, Virginia, on May 16, 2019. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. district judge on Thursday ordered U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning to be released from the Alexandria Detention Center, one day after she was hospitalized for attempting to take her own life.

The big picture: Manning had been jailed since May 2019 on civil contempt charges for refusing to cooperate with a grand jury subpoena seeking information on Wikileaks. The judge wrote in the court order that since her testimony is no longer needed, Manning's detention "no longer serves any coercive purpose."

  • A member of her legal team confirmed to Axios that Manning was released from the Alexandria Detention Center on Thursday night.

Flashback: Manning, whose current incarceration was labeled as "torture" by a top United Nations official, told reporters last year that she'd rather remain in jail "forever" than testify before a grand jury on Wikileaks.

  • She previously served seven years in a military prison for leaking hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks before President Obama commuted what was left of her 35-year sentence.
  • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was indicted in April and May of 2019 for violating the Espionage Act by allegedly conspiring with Manning to hack into a Defense Department computer and disseminate classified information.

Read the order.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

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Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning arrives at the Albert Bryan U.S federal courthouse, May 16, 2019. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

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