Chelsea Manning: Assange Indictment Means I Shouldn’t Be in Jail

Chelsea Manning’s legal team said in a statement Thursday that she should be released from jail in light of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s indictment. “The indictment against Julian Assange unsealed today was obtained a year to the day before Chelsea appeared before the grand jury and refused to give testimony,” Manning’s legal team wrote. They claimed that Manning’s testimony before the grand jury would have only produced “duplicative” evidence, and was “not needed in order for US Attorneys to obtain an indictment of Mr. Assange.” The lawyers also asserted that Manning can no longer contribute to the grand jury’s probe, and therefore, her “ongoing detention can no longer be seriously alleged to constitute an attempt to coerce her testimony.” “As continued detention would be purely punitive, we demand Chelsea be released,” they wrote.

In a Thursday filing, Manning’s lawyers asked the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to vacate the “civil contempt” decision against her, saying the subpoena was meant to “undermine her testimony as a potential defense witness.” The former U.S. Army Intelligence officer—who was convicted in 2013 of passing secret documents to Assange— was arrested in early March.