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Chelsea Manning ordered released from jail after more than a year locked up

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Win McNamee/Getty Images(ALEXANDRIA, Va.) — Chelsea Manning, the former U.S. Army intelligence analyst and anti-secrecy activist, was ordered released after spending more than a year locked up in jail for contempt of court for failing to testify before a federal grand jury investigating WikiLeaks.

Manning was set to appear in court on Friday, but the grand jury expired and was discharged on Thursday, and Manning’s appearance is “no longer needed, in light of which her detention no longer serves any coercive purpose,” U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga wrote in his order.

She was being held in Alexandria County jail.

This comes just a day after Manning’s legal team said she had tried to take her own life while in jail, according to reports. A statement from Alexandria, Virginia, Sheriff Dana Lawhorne only reported that there had been an “incident” involving Manning.

On May 16, Manning was jailed after she refused to cooperate, yet again, with a subpoena to testify. Previously, she had said that she would rather be jailed “indefinitely” than testify.

While the judge ordered Manning immediately released, she still faces a fine of $256,000 levied by the court. Fines began after her first 30 days of contempt at $500 per day. The fines were increased after 60 days to $1,000 for each day she refused to testify.

Manning gained notoriety in 2013 when she was sentenced to 35 years in prison for the unauthorized disclosure of classified materials, which WikiLeaks made public in 2010. The government called the scheme “one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States.”

President Barack Obama commuted Manning’s sentence in 2017.

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