A federal judge on Thursday ordered the immediate release of Chelsea Manning from jail, saying “her detention no longer serves any coercive purpose.”
The former intelligence analyst’s legal team revealed Wednesday that she tried to commit suicide earlier that day, but was taken to a hospital where she is recovering.
Manning has been incarcerated since last May for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks. She was scheduled to appear in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, on Friday for a hearing on a motion to terminate the civil contempt sanctions which arose from that refusal.
Manning previously served seven years in a military prison for making public a trove of WikiLeaks documents, before President Barack Obama commuted the remainder of her 35-year sentence before he left office in 2017.
Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorne said Wednesday: “There was an incident at approximately 12:11 p.m. today at the Alexandria Adult Detention Center involving inmate Chelsea Manning. It was handled appropriately by our professional staff and Ms. Manning is safe.”
Andy Stepanian, a spokesman for Manning’s legal team, said in a statement on Wednesday that Manning “remains unwavering in her refusal to participate in a secret grand jury process that she sees as highly susceptible to abuse.”