- The Washington Times - Friday, March 22, 2019

Chelsea Manning is asking a federal appeals court to reverse a recent contempt ruling that resulted in the convicted WikiLeaks source’s reimprisonment, according to filings unsealed Friday.

Attorneys for Manning told the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in a newly unsealed filing that they plan to challenge a lower court’s decision that found the former soldier in contempt for refusing to cooperate with federal prosecutors investigating WikiLeaks.

Manning’s lawyers filed a notice of appeal under seal on Tuesday, and the case docket was made public on Friday after being authorized by federal prosecutors.

A former Army intelligence analyst, Manning was convicted and sentenced in 2013 in connection with supplying WikiLeaks with hundreds of thousands of documents subsequently released through the anti-secrecy group’s website. She was released from prison in 2017 after having most of her sentence commuted during by outgoing President Barack Obama.

Manning was recently subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury convened in Alexandria, Virginia, where her lawyers said prosecutors would presumably ask questions related to her WikiLeaks disclosures. She refused and was ordered jailed until she agrees to cooperate or the grand jury expires.

Politico first reported news of the appeal Friday morning.

Manning’s contributions to WikiLeaks included detailed accounts of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, diplomatic cables containing sensitive communications and video evidence of a U.S. airstrike killing several civilians and journalists, among other materials. She said during her 2013 court-martial that she submitted the documents under her own volition.

Kristinn Hrafnsson, a longtime WikiLeaks collaborate who replaced publisher Julian Assange as the site’s top editor, said in an interview Friday that Manning is “incredibly brave” for refusing to cooperate.

“She gave full testimony in her court-martial, she was sentenced, she served seven years in jail in conditions that were tantamount to torture by U.N. standards, and then pardoned by Obama towards the end of his term, perhaps remembering that he campaigned on a platform of protecting whistleblowers. And now years later, being hauled to jail for refusing to testify against WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. She needs a lot of support,” said Mr. Hrafnsson, the Reykjavík Grapevine reported.

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