Chelsea Manning is back in jail after refusing, yet again, to testify before a grand jury.
Manning, who had previously served seven years out of a 35-year prison sentence for leaking government documents to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, was remanded in custody after District Court Judge Anthony Trenga found her to be in contempt of court after she refused to answer a grand jury’s questions about Assange, BBC News reports. While disheartening, the news is not surprising, considering the fact that Manning has always said that she would “never” participate in the grand jury’s investigation into the WikiLeaks founder.
"I'm not going to comply with this grand jury," Manning told the press outside the Virginia courthouse, hours before she was incarcerated once more.
If you’ve been following Chelsea’s case for the past few months, you might be experiencing a depressing sense of déjà vû right now. Manning was similarly jailed on March 8 after she refused to testify before a different grand jury as part of the same investigation into Assange. (She spent 63 days in jail — 28 in conditions akin to that of solitary confinement — before she was released on May 9.) One major difference? The whistleblower-turned-activist will now be fined $500 a day for every day after 30 days that she refuses to testify, and she will be fined $1,000 for every day after 60 days she refuses to testify. Manning will remain in custody until she either agrees to testify or the grand jury term expires in 18 months.
“We are of course disappointed with the outcome of today’s hearing,” said Moira Meltzer-Cohen, one of Manning’s attorneys, per The Sparrow Project, “but I anticipate it will be exactly as coercive as the previous sanction — which is to say not at all.”