Whistleblower imprisoned

8 March: Chelsea Manning, 31, the person who as Bradley Manning leaked more than 750,000 classified documents to Julian Assange’s Wikileaks in 2010, is in prison once again. Manning was found guilty of a range of offences in July 2013 and sentenced to 35 years imprisonment. Manning’s term was commuted by President Obama in January 2017. Manning was finally released in May 2017.

Manning was jailed again on 8 March this year, this time for contempt of court. Manning had failed to answer questions from a federal grand jury in Virginia. The jury was examining the issue of the release of documents to Wikileaks. Manning must now remain in custody either until answers are provided or until the grand jury finishes its work.

Manning’s supporters have two concerns: first that Manning will not receive badly needed transgender medication while under incarceration. The local sheriff’s department which supervises the prison has already admitted that it cannot provide the full range of medication because one element is a narcotic which is not permitted in a US prison. The other concern is that this move represents the start of a witch hunt specifically designed to target Manning. President Trump has made no secret of the fact that he considers Manning to be a traitor who has got away with it because of weakness by President Obama.

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