The lawyers for WikiLeaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning have renewed the effort to get the former U.S. Army intelligence analyst out of prison. Manning, now incarcerated for a year after refusing to appear before a federal grand jury, is being fined $1,000 every day she refuses to testify. The total is currently around $230,000.
Manning’s lawyer, Moira Meltzer-Cohen, argues that her prolonged incarceration is a form of unlawful “punitive sanction” because Manning will never succumb come to the coercion to testify.
Manning had previously spent seven years in prison starting in 2010 after she sent hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. military documents to Wikileaks.
Manning’s refusal to testify before the grand jury stems from her “long-standing belief that grand juries, as they function in the contemporary era, are often used by federal prosecutors to harass and disrupt political opponents and activists through secrecy, coercion, and jailing without trial. No matter how much you punish me, I will remain confident in my decision.”
“Over the last decade, Chelsea Manning has shown unwavering resolve in the face of censure, punishment, and even threats of violence,” her lawyer’s motion stated. “As Ms. Manning’s resolve not to testify has been unwavering, and as her moral conviction has become only more developed since her confinement, her incarceration is not serving its only permissible purpose.”