Chelsea Manning attempts suicide in Virginia prison as Federal court orders release

  • Manning released thousands of files to Wikileaks in 2010

  • Several had criticized her arrest as an attempt to silence the actual truth

The former army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning persecuted for leaking the government cables, is being released from the prison just after she attempted to commit suicide. The Alexandria sheriff's office confirmed her release on Thursday night. Chelsea Manning was ordered to be released from the Virginia prison by a federal judge on Thursday nearly a year after she was incarcerated for refusing to testify in front of the grand jury.

Manning had been arrested for leaking hundreds of thousands of documents and diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks in 2010. She was being held since May last year. Judge Anthony J Trenga wrote after he ordered her release that "The court finds Ms Manning's appearance before the grand jury is no longer needed, in light of which her detention no longer serves any coercive purpose." A hearing had been scheduled for Friday which has since been cancelled.

Who is Chelsea Manning?

Chelsea Manning
Chelsea Manning Wikimedia Commons

Chelsea Manning who was formerly known as Bradley Manning was sentenced to the 35 years in prison in 2013. She served seven years in military custody before the former President Barack Obama reduced her sentence right before he left the office. She was imprisoned by the federal court after she was found in contempt of court by the judge investigating WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.

Manning's representatives said that she attempted suicide while in the Alexandria adult detention centre. The representatives also said that she "has previously indicated that she will not betray her principles". She had previously attempted suicide twice before while she was being held for the original charges. During that time she was being held in solitary confinement and had gone into a deep stage of depression according to her interviews with various news media outlets. It was around this time that she held a hunger strike and completed gender reassignment.

Manning's testimony is no longer required

According to the new judge addressing Manning's case, her testimony is no longer required because the grand jury is no longer active. Manning's legal team had previously reported on Wednesday that she has attempted to take her own life but had survived and is said to be recovering in the hospital.

Although Manning is released she faces the fine of $256,000 which was levied by the court. Judge Trenga said that the "Fines began after her first 30 days of contempt at $500 per day. The fines were increased after 60 days to $1,000 for each day she refused to testify."