The Alexandria sheriff, Dana Lawhorne, said: “There was an incident at approximately 12.11pm today at the Alexandria adult detention center involving inmate Chelsea Manning. It was handled appropriately by our professional staff and Ms Manning is safe.”
Manning has been in jail since May 2019 for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks. She was scheduled to appear in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, on Friday for a hearing on a motion to terminate the civil contempt sanctions stemming from that refusal.
Andy Stepanian, a spokesman for Manning’s legal team, said in a statement on Wednesday that Manning “remains unwavering” in her refusal to participate the hearing.
“In spite of those sanctions – which have so far included over a year of so-called ‘coercive’ incarceration and nearly half a million dollars in threatened fines – she remains unwavering in her refusal to participate in a secret grand jury process that she sees as highly susceptible to abuse,” her attorneys said in a statement. “Ms Manning has previously indicated that she will not betray her principles, even at risk of grave harm to herself.”
In the motion filed last month, Manning’s lawyers argued that Manning had shown during her incarceration that she could not be coerced into testifying before a grand jury.
Manning served seven years in a military prison for leaking a trove of documents to WikiLeaks before Barack Obama commuted the remainder of her 35-year sentence in 2017.
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