Chelsea Manning to Be Released From Prison, Judge Orders

Manning was supposed to appear in court on Friday

Chelsea Manning in 2019
Win McNamee / Getty Images

A federal judge on Thurdsay ordered the immediate release of Chelsea Manning, the former intelligence analyst, U.S. Army veteran and whistleblower, from prison.

“The Court finds that Ms. Manning’s appearance before the Grand Jury is no longer needed, in light of which her detention no longer serves any coercive purpose,” U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga said in his order.

“Needless to say we are relieved and ask that you respect her privacy while she gets on her feet,” Manning’s legal team said in a statement.

The order comes a day after Manning’s legal team announced that Manning was being hospitalized after a suicide attempt. Manning was also originally scheduled to appear in court on Friday.

In 2013, Manning was found guilty of violating the Espionage Act for leaking classified files to WikiLeaks. Her 35-year prison sentence was commuted by then-President Barack Obama in 2017. But last year, Manning was remanded into custody for being in contempt of court because she refused to cooperate in the government’s case against WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. She had since been held at the Alexandria Detention Center in Virginia, but with the judge’s order on Thursday, she will now be set free.

But because she has refused to testify in the WikiLeaks case, the judge ordered that Manning must still pay a fine of $256,000 to the court.

“(The) conditional fines would not be punitive but necessary to the coercive purpose of the Court’s civil contempt order,” the judge’s order said.