Does Chelsea Manning deserve to be released?

US court orders Chelsea Manning's immediate release

A US court has ordered the release of former Wikileaks informant Chelsea Manning. Federal judge Anthony Trenga ruled on Thursday in Alexandria, Virginia, that the 32-year-old was no longer in custody. Manning had only tried to take his own life the day before, according to supporters.

Convict

The former soldier was supposed to have been forced to testify before a so-called grand jury - a jury with extensive investigative powers - on the case of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

However, the grand jury suspended its work on Wednesday - this was the reason for the judge's current decision to release Manning. However, a $ 256,000 fine imposed on Manning remains in effect.

After her alleged suicide attempt, Manning was taken to hospital on Wednesday, the support group Sparrow Project announced. The Wikileaks informant had tried to take her own life while in custody in previous years.

Hundreds of thousands of secret military documents

In 2010 and 2011, the platform Wikileaks published hundreds of thousands of secret military documents on the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as confidential diplomatic dispatches. The source was Manning, who lived a man prior to her gender reassignment surgery and whose first name was Bradley. She had downloaded the material from military computers and leaked it to Wikileaks.

Manning was arrested in 2010 and sentenced to 35 years in prison in August 2013 for espionage. However, she was released early in 2017 through a pardon from then US President Barack Obama. She was then arrested in March of last year for refusing to testify about Assange. She was briefly released from detention, but was detained again in May.

Assange, in turn, is currently fighting his extradition to the United States in a court in London. US investigators initially only accused him of conspiracy to attack government computers. In May 2019, however, the charges were tightened considerably. The Wikileaks founder faces a prison sentence of up to 175 years for violating anti-espionage laws. (APA, March 13, 2020)