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Chelsea Manning was stung with massive court fines – but her supporters bailed her out in just two days

Nick Duffy March 17, 2020
Former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning

Former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Supporters of Chelsea Manning have raised the entire cost of her court fines in just two days, after a judge ordered the activist’s release in prison.

In a ruling on Thursday, US district judge Anthony Trenga freed Manning – a former intelligence analyst best known for exposing US war crimes by leaking classified documents – but ordered her to pay a staggering $256,000 in fines.

Manning has spent nearly a year in prison for contempt of court after refusing to testify before a federal grand jury investigating WikiLeaks – and has little means to pay the steep fines by herself.

However, online supporters rallied round the activist, and raised the entire amount in just two days.

Chelsea Manning ‘will be able to move on with her life’.

A crowdfunding campaign set up by Manning’s friend Kelly Wright after the ruling had reached its full goal by Saturday.

Wright said: “Thank you so much for helping us reach our goal of $256,000 – and 100 per cent of that money will be held in trust to pay Chelsea’s court fines.

“Chelsea will actually be able to pay these cruel fines and move on with her life – and much sooner than expected.”

Chelsea Manning was fined for refusing to testify before a grand jury
Chelsea Manning was fined for refusing to testify before a grand jury (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

A separate fund to help Manning with living expenses after her release from prison has raised a further $50,000.

Wright said: “She is completely exhausted from this ordeal. She lost her apartment, was forced to put all of her belongings in storage, and was unable to earn any income whatsoever over the course of the past year.

“Chelsea really appreciates how fast you came through for her. It will take a while, but we believe she is on the road to recovery.”

Whistleblower had attempted suicide days before being freed.

Just days before the ruling to free her, Manning was rushed to hospital after trying to kill herself while in jail.

Her lawyers confirmed the incident, condemning the “profound harm she continues to suffer” due to her confinement.

It was the third time she had attempted to take her own life while behind bars.

If you are in the US and are having suicidal thoughts, suffering from anxiety or depression, or just want to talk, call the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255. If you are in the UK, you can contact Samaritans on 116 123 or email [email protected]

More: chelsea manning, Trans, Transgender

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