Day 365 of Chelsea Manning's incarceration, with $256,000 in fines (as of March 12, 2020).
Chelsea has been incarcerated for more than 9 months for her principled refusal to give testimony before a grand jury convened to investigate and prosecute journalists whose work threatens to expose government misdeeds.
She has not been charged with, let alone convicted of a crime, but she is in jail under “coercive confinement” – that is, she will be held in jail until she agrees to cooperate with the grand jury investigation. She is also being fined $1,000 per day for every day she refuses to testify. She can be jailed and fined in this way for up to 18 months.
Chelsea has repeatedly explained her conscientious objection to Grand Jury proceedings, citing their secrecy, their susceptibility to prosecutorial abuse, and the long history of grand jury abuse to target and harass activist communities.
Coercive confinement is considered a violation of international law, but the United States authorizes its use to enforce cooperation with grand jury subpoenas. However, even here, such confinement cannot be used against someone once it is clear that it has no coercive effect. Since Chelsea will never betray her principles, her confinement is not coercive, but punitive, and must not continue.