• Chelsea Manning will be released from prison. (Getty Images North America)Source: Getty Images North America
"This is such a huge relief."
Samuel Leighton-Dore

13 Mar 2020 - 9:06 AM  UPDATED 13 Mar 2020 - 5:28 PM

CW: This article contains material relating to suicide.

Days after she attempted suicide, federal judge Anthony Trenga has ordered that Chelsea Manning be released from jail, concluding that the grand jury no longer requires her testimony.

Manning, 32, had previously served seven years of a 35-year sentence after being convicted of leaking thousands of confidential military files to WikiLeaks.

While her sentence was commuted by former President Barrack Obama in May 2017, she was forced back into custody after refusing to testify about her connection to WikiLeaks before another grand jury in March 2019, pointing to the testimony she'd already given during the 2013 trial.

The news of her release brought a sigh of relief to members of the LGBTIQ+ community, along with supporters of freedom of speech, with calls on social media for supporters to stand in solidarity with the former US army analyst.

In a statement shared by The Guardian, Manning’s representatives said the whistle-blower “has previously indicated that she will not betray her principles, even at risk of grave harm to herself.

“Her actions today evidence the strength of her convictions, as well as the profound harm she continues to suffer as a result of her ‘civil’ confinement.”

"I admit this made me cry," one social media user tweeted in response to the news.

"Chelsea Manning is what heroes are made of."

Another wrote: "Chelsea Manning is being released, and is an incredible icon of resolute will and determination.

"Be ready to stand with her when we're needed."

Others expressed their anger at Manning's suffering: "Extremely happy that Chelsea Manning is being freed, furious that she endured so much suffering."

Manning has reportedly been charged USD$1,000 for every day spent in custody and now owes the United States government upwards of USD$250,000.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 and Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 (up to age 25). 

More information about mental health is available at Beyond Blue.

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