The US government is now fining Chelsea Manning $1,000 per day for her refusal to testify in front of a grand jury. Journalist John Pilger has described her treatment as “a warning of the return of fascism.”
Jailed for contempt
A judge had previously jailed Manning for contempt in March. She had declined to give evidence about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange in front of a grand jury. The authorities eventually freed her in May. But seven days later, Judge Anthony Trenga ordered her back to jail. This was for again declining to testify in front of the grand jury.
The judge also ordered that, after 30 days, Manning pay fines of $500 every day she remains in jail. So far, these fines amount to $15,000. But the judge had also ordered that the fines increase after 60 days. And as of 16 July, her fines are now $1,000 per day.
Her legal team believes her total fines will be over $440,000 if she continues in her refusal to give evidence. They argued that:
This excessive amount may violate her Eighth Amendment rights under the Constitution.
The return of fascism?
Also criticising Manning’s treatment was Australian journalist John Pilger. In an interview with the Morning Star, Pilger said:
Chelsea is incarcerated in Virginia and fined $1,000 a day for refusing to incriminate the Wikileaks editor of non-existent crimes.
He went on to state that the British government jailed Assange so that it can eventually extradite him “to Trump’s dungeons”. Pilger also accused British foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt of “hypocrisy” for holding a conference on media freedom just seven miles from where the British government is holding Assange.
And as a result, he declared:
Mark these disgraces as a warning of the return of fascism.
Fighting for freedom
Manning’s lawyers previously filed a motion requesting her immediate release. They argued that the government cannot coerce her “and that her incarceration is therefore only punitive”. Given this, they asserted that the government is violating Manning’s due process rights.
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.