Court Rejects Chelsea Manning’s Bid for Release

Chelsea Manning's bid for release from jail on bail denied by federal appeals court.

Chelsea Manning’s attempt to be released from jail was unsuccessful, the Associated Press reports.

On Monday, a federal court of appeals denied Manning’s bid for release, which argued that she should not have been found in contempt of court and requested that the whistleblower-turned-activist be granted bail, citing “grave” medical concerns. In a unanimous decision by a panel of judges, the appeals court rejected the bid, siding with the district court that had jailed Manning for refusing to testify before a grand jury.

“While disappointing, we can still raise issues as the government continues to abuse the grand jury process,” Manning said Monday in a statement, via Twitter.

Manning was jailed on March 8 after refusing to answer a grand jury’s questions about WikiLeaks as part of an ongoing case involving the platform’s founder, Julian Assange. An intelligence analyst for the U.S. Army at the time, Manning leaking classified government documents to Assange that were then published by WikiLeaks. She served seven years in military prison before President Barack Obama commuted her sentence in 2017.

“I don’t have anything to contribute to this, or any other grand jury,” Manning’s statement continues. “While I miss home, they can continue to hold me in jail, with all the harmful consequences that brings. I will not give up. Thank you all so very much for your love and solidarity through letters and contributions.”

Speaking on behalf of Manning’s legal team, attorney Moira Meltzer-Cohen says that she is “disappointed” by the appeals court’s decision.

“We are of course disappointed that the Circuit declined to follow clearly established law, or consider the ample evidence of grand jury abuse,” Meltzer-Cohen told the Sparrow Project. “It is improper for a prosecutor to use the grand jury to prepare for trial. As pointed out in Ms. Manning’s motions and appeals, since her testimony is not necessary to the grand jury’s investigation, the likely purpose for her subpoena is to help the prosecutor preview and undermine her potential testimony as a defense witness for a pending trial.”

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