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Chelsea Manning, Dazed
Photography Mark Peckmezian, Styling Emma Wyman

A judge has ordered Chelsea Manning’s release from jail

Representatives report that the whistleblower and activist, who was being held for refusing to testify to a grand jury, attempted suicide earlier this week

A judge has ordered the release of whistleblower and activist Chelsea Manning from the Virginia jail where she has been held since May last year for refusing to testify to a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks

The release comes ahead of a hearing in the case on Friday (March 13), at which it’s been deemed no longer necessary for Manning to testify, following reports on Wednesday that she had attempted suicide. 

“Her actions today evidence the strength of her convictions,” representatives said at the time, as reported by The Guardian, “as well as the profound harm she continues to suffer as a result of her ‘civil’ confinement.”

Manning’s refusal to testify in the WikiLeaks case is based on the use of a grand jury, which is used to establish “probable cause” that a felony offense has been committed, without a judge or defense attorney present. 

Critics often claim that grand juries “favour indictment of the individual or group accused of a crime” and are open to dishonesty due their inherent secrecy.

As well as six years in military prison, Manning has served jailtime before for refusing to testify in the case, during which lawyers, friends, and supporters claimed she was being held in abusive conditions, including being kept in isolation for 22 hours a day.