Transgender Whistleblower Chelsea Manning Released From Prison

Transgender whistleblower Chelsea Manning has been released from prison two months after refusing to testify about Wikileaks in front of a grand jury, reported BBC.

Manning was released from the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center in Alexandria, Virginia on Thursday (May 9).

“Today marked the expiration of the term of the grand jury, and so, after 62 days of confinement, Chelsea was released from the Alexandria Detention Center earlier today,” Manning’s lawyers said in a statement. “Unfortunately, even prior to her release, Chelsea was served with another subpoena. It is therefore conceivable that she will once again be held in contempt of court and be returned [to custody].”

Manning will appear in front of a second grand jury on May 16, where it is expected she will be asked the same questions she refused to answer in March.

“Chelsea will continue to refuse to answer questions and will use every available legal defense to prove… that she has just cause for her refusal to give testimony,” her lawyers added.

Manning was arrested in Iraq in 2010 for disclosing confidential information to Wikileaks, a site that publishes news leaks and secret information. She served seven years – transitioning and taking the name Chelsea during her time in jail – before former President Barack Obama commuted her 35-year sentence in 2017.

She was arrested again in March 2019 for refusing to testify against Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, and was denied bail in April.

In a statement released earlier this week, Manning said she would never testify before a grand jury.

“I can – without any hesitation – state that nothing will convince me to testify before this or any other grand jury for that matter,” she said. “This experience so far only proves my long-held belief that grand juries are simply outdated tools used by the federal government to harass and disrupt political opponents and activists in fishing expeditions… The way I am being treated proves what a corrupt and abusive tool this truly is. With each passing day, my disappointment and frustration grow, but so too do my commitments to doing the right thing and continuing to refuse to submit”

If Manning again refuses to testify on May 16, she may be sent back to jail.