Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Whistleblower Chelsea Manning is remaining defiant in the face of months of imprisonment.

Whistleblower Chelsea Manning is remaining defiant in the face of months of imprisonment. (Photo: xychelsea/Twitter)

Chelsea Manning Says She Is 'Never Backing Down' in Face of US Detention Meant to Break Her

"My long-standing objection to the immoral practice of throwing people in jail without charge or trial, for the sole purpose of forcing them to testify before a secret, government-run investigative panel, remains strong."

Eoin Higgins

Two days after the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer published a letter he sent to the U.S. government urging her release from federal prison, whistleblower Chelsea Manning issued a response welcoming the support and promising to stay resolute in the face of her prolonged detention. 

"My long-standing objection to the immoral practice of throwing people in jail without charge or trial, for the sole purpose of forcing them to testify before a secret, government-run investigative panel, remains strong," said Manning.

Manning was imprisoned on March 8, 2019 for refusing to take part in a grand jury investigation on WikiLeaks and the group's founder, Julian Assange. Manning and her supporters have alleged that the real purpose of her testimony would be to set perjury traps that could eventually land the former Army private in prison. 

As Common Dreams reported, Melzer's letter expressed the rapporteur's "serious concern at the reported use of coercive measures against Ms. Manning, particularly given the history of her previous conviction and ill-treatment in detention" and requested more information on Manning's detention.

"I recommend that Ms. Manning's current deprivation of liberty be promptly reviewed in light of the United States' international human rights obligations," Melzer wrote. "Should my assessment regarding its purely coercive purpose be accurate, I recommend that Ms. Manning be released without further delay, and that any fines disproportionate to the gravity of any offense she may have committed be cancelled or reimbursed."

Manning's attorney Moira Meltzer-Cohen in a statement said that Melzer's letter made clear that Manning's detention is in violation of international norms and for the sole purpose of torturing the whistleblower.

"Special Rapporteur Melzer has issued a legally rigorous condemnation of the practice of coercive confinement, and of Ms. Manning's confinement in particular," said Meltzer-Cohen. "While the United States has so far failed to live up to its human rights obligations, I remain hopeful that the government will reconsider its policies in light of the U.N.'s admonition."

"In any case," Meltzer-Cohen added, "there can be no further doubt that Ms. Manning has the courage of her convictions, and will never agree to testify before a grand jury, even at great personal cost."

Manning echoed that sentiment in her statement.

"Even knowing I am very likely to stay in jail for an even longer time," said Manning, "I'm never backing down."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

GOP 'Silence Speaks Volumes,' Says Ilhan Omar as Boebert's Bigotry Goes Unpunished

"Normalizing this bigotry not only endangers my life but the lives of all Muslims. Anti-Muslim bigotry has no place in Congress."

Brett Wilkins ·


Africans Should Be 'Applauded, Not Punished,' Say Advocates Amid Omicron Travel Ban

"What is going on right now is inevitable," said African Union Vaccine Delivery Alliance co-chair Dr. Ayoade Alakija. "It's a result of the world's failure to vaccinate in an equitable, urgent, and speedy manner."

Brett Wilkins ·


Biden Drilling Report Blasted as 'Shocking Capitulation to the Needs of Corporate Polluters'

"Greenlighting more fossil fuel extraction, then pretending it's OK by nudging up royalty rates, is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic," said one campaigner.

Jessica Corbett ·


UNESCO Members Adopt First Global AI Ethics Agreement 'To Benefit Humanity'

"We're at a critical juncture in history," said Ethics in Tech founder Vahid Razavi. "We need as humans to come together and decide what is the best course of action to take with these technologies before they surpass us in their abilities."

Brett Wilkins ·


Progressive US Lawmakers Mark Black Friday With Calls to Pass the PRO Act

"The right to organize, fight for better working conditions, and fair pay must always be protected."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo