Chelsea Manning (Picture Credits-Twitter)
Chelsea Manning (Picture Credits-Twitter)

Will never cooperate with grand juries: Chelsea Manning

ANI | Updated: May 11, 2019 15:22 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], May 11 (ANI): Shortly after being released from jail, whistleblower Chelsea Manning on Friday uploaded an online video for the first time in 10 months saying she will never cooperate with any grand juries.
"I will not cooperate with any grand juries ever. Throughout the last decade, I have accepted full responsibility for my actions. Facing jail this week will not change the fact. Prosecutors deliberately place me in an impossible situation," Manning said in a video posted on Twitter.
"The truth is that the government can construct no prison than to betray my own conscience and my principles," she added.
Manning was released on Thursday from the Alexandria Detention Centre in Virginia where she was imprisoned for the last two months for refusing to testify before a grand jury regarding disclosure of military and diplomatic secrets to WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange in 2010.
However, in a statement, her legal team said Manning could return to jail soon (next week) as her lawyers indicated that she would again refuse to testify in response to a separate subpoena.
In the video, Manning started her speech by noting that she objects to grand juries "as a general principle."
"Prosecutors run grand juries behind closed doors, and it's secret without a judge present. Therefore I declined to answer any questions. Based on my refusal to answer questions, district court judge Hilton ordered me held in contempt until the grand jury ended. Yesterday the grand jury expired and I left the Alexandria Detention Centre," the whistleblower said.
Manning also noted that due to her post-surgery vulnerable state of health, she experienced additional issues from being in detention and "is now seeking treatment" for complications.
"Jails and prisons exist as a dark stain on our society, with more people confined in the US than anywhere else in the world. During my time I spent 28 days in solitary confinement. A traumatic experience that I already endured for a year in prison before," Manning said.
Manning said that the law "requires that civil contempt only be used to coerce witnesses to testify" and as she "can't be coerced" the contempt was "an additional punishment on top of the seven years" she has already served.
"Several of my closest family friends and colleagues supported this fact. Our statements were filed in court. The government knows that I can't be coerced.
About her upcoming visit to the court on May 16, Manning said, "When I arrive at the courthouse, this coming Thursday, what happened last time will occur again. I will not cooperate with this or any other grand jury."
Manning, who had earlier served nearly seven years in prison for the massive leak, objected to the questioning in a court appearance in March that was apparently part of a continued effort by federal prosecutors investigating WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
The whistleblower was subsequently held in contempt, and a federal appeals court rejected her argument for release -- that her rights were violated by the subpoena proceedings and the federal prosecutors purportedly seeking to entrap her -- in April. (ANI)