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Chelsea Manning is out of solitary confinement, reps say

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had come to Manning’s defense on Tuesday and said her current imprisonment was “torture.”

by Rex Santus
Apr 4 2019, 9:25pm

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Chelsea Manning has been released from solitary confinement after 28 days, her reps said late Thursday afternoon.

The 31-year-old whistleblower is currently detained at the Truesdale Detention Center in Virginia and has been integrated into the prison’s general population, Manning’s Twitter account said.

The former Army intelligence analyst has been held since early March because she refused to answer a grand jury’s questions after she was subpoenaed to give testimony about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. The the U.S. inadvertently revealed it had secretly charged Assange with unknown offenses in a court filing last November. Manning said she'd already answered everything she knew at a 2013 court martial, but prosecutors say they believe her testimony may have been inaccurate. Manning also claims she was under illegal surveillance.

"I will not comply with this, or any other grand jury,” Manning said in a written statement last month. "Imprisoning me for my refusal to answer questions only subjects me to additional punishment for my repeatedly stated ethical objections to the grand jury system."

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came to Manning’s defense on Tuesday and said that her current imprisonment was “torture.” She called for Manning’s release and said that extended solitary confinement should be banned in the United States.

Manning's previously served just 7 years of a 35-year prison sentence for espionage, because Barack Obama commuted her term in the final days of his presidency. Large portions of her time were in solitary. Manning had leaked a cache of military documents to WikiLeaks, most infamously a video that showed a 2007 helicopter attack in Baghdad that killed dozens, including two journalists, raising questions about whether the U.S. committed war crimes.

Cover: In this March 5, 2019 photo, Chelsea Manning addresses the media outside federal court in Alexandria, Va. The former Army intelligence analyst was ordered to jail Friday, March 8, 2019, for refusing to testify to a Virginia grand jury investigating WikiLeaks. (AP Photo/Matthew Barakat)