Chelsea Manning’s Support Committee: Manning’s Detention for Refusal to Provide Grand Jury Testimony is Pointless, Punitive, and Cruel


Andy Stepanian, 631.291.3010,
Chelsea Manning’s Support Team:

Chelsea Manning’s Support Committee: Manning’s Detention for Refusal to Provide Grand Jury Testimony is Pointless, Punitive, and Cruel

For Additional Updates, Visit:

Alexandria, VA — On Wednesday March 6, 2019, Chelsea Manning appeared before a Federal Grand Jury in the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) and refused to answer questions from prosecutors regarding the release of information she disclosed to the public in 2010. Chelsea invoked her 1st, 4th, and 6th Amendment protections to provide just cause for her refusal. This morning Chelsea returned to the court for a hearing wherein Judge Hilton found Chelsea in contempt and remanded her into federal custody stating that the length of Chelsea’s detention will be “until she purges or the end of the life of the grand jury.”  The following is a statement from Chelsea Manning’s support committee regarding Chelsea’s detention and Judge Hilton’s contempt order:

“The court’s decision to imprison Chelsea Manning for refusing to comply with a grand jury is pointless, punitive, and cruel.

“Chelsea has clearly stated her moral objection to the secretive and oppressive grand jury process. We are Chelsea's friends and fellow organizers, and we know her as a person who is fully committed to her principles. If Judge Claude M. Hilton and AUSA Gordon Kromberg believe that subjecting Chelsea to more punishment will change her mind, they are gravely mistaken.

“It is no secret that members of the current administration have openly expressed their hatred for Chelsea. Donald Trump himself has tweeted about his desire to undo Barack Obama's commutation and put Chelsea back in jail. We reject the logic that Chelsea should comply and answer questions regarding events for which she has already provided ample testimony, and we condemn the government's punitive efforts to back her into a corner.

“By resisting this grand jury, Chelsea has made the same sacrifice as dozens of activists before her, who have opposed the grand jury system at the expense of their own freedom. Chelsea has already served prison time for standing up against government secrecy and revealing war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. We know, and so does the government, that she will not turn tail and allow this shadowy grand jury to eclipse her legacy of speaking truth to power.

“To quote Chelsea, 'we got this.'

In the coming months, Chelsea will need support to pay for her legal fees, as well as money for commissary. Please donate to our fundraiser here:


Chelsea Manning is represented by Moira Meltzer-Cohen, appellate attorney Vincent Ward, and local counsel Chris Leibig and Sandra Freeman.

All are encouraged to support Chelsea any way they can.  To learn more about Chelsea Resists or to donate to Chelsea’s legal defense visit:

Questions regarding Chelsea Manning’s support committee should be directed to

Christina DiPasquale