Published: Wed, May 10, 2017
Local | By Adrian Hale

Chelsea Manning Releases 1st Statement Since Clemency Win

Chelsea Manning Releases 1st Statement Since Clemency Win

Chelsea Manning wearing a wig and lipstick. According to her attorneys, Manning will be released on May 17.

Chelsea Manning, born Bradley Manning, is the former Army intelligence analyst who was convicted by court-martial in July 2013 of violations of the Espionage Act and other offenses after disclosing hundreds of thousands of classified or unclassified but sensitive military and diplomatic documents.

Expressing relief about the impending release on Twitter Tuesday, Manning said: "Freedom was only a dream, and hard to imagine". She also said letters of support from fellow transgender individuals and veterans inspired her "to work toward making life better for others".

Just before former President Barack Obama left office in January, he commuted all but four months of Manning's remaining sentence.

Chelsea Manning, the US Army private sentenced to a military prison for passing classified documents to WikiLeaks, released a statement Tuesday thanking her supporters eight days before her expected release.

Manning had served seven years of a 35-year stretch when outgoing president Barack Obama commuted her sentence earlier this year. "I can imagine surviving and living as the person who I am and finally be in the outside world".

"For the first time, I can see a future for myself as Chelsea". The legal team will provide updates following her release but will not be responding to inquiries directly during the week of the 15th.

"Chelsea has already served the longest sentence of any whistleblower in the history of this country".

Nancy Hollander and Vincent Ward, the attorneys representing Manning in clemency and appellate cases, called Manning's long sentence "draconian".

Manning twice attempted suicide in jail, where she was often kept in solitary confinement after being sentenced in 2013 for passing more than 7,00,000 classified military and diplomatic documents to the anti-secrecy group wikileaks, which released them in collaboration with worldwide news organizations.

The disclosures were considered an embarrassment to the USA, prompting the Obama administration to crack down on government leaks.

Manning was arrested in 2010, and came out as transgender after being sentenced.

Manning has been forced to serve her sentence in an all-male military prison despite a request to transfer to a civilian prison.

An ACLU spokesperson told NBC News that a lawsuit against the DoD over gender transition-related medical care is now "on hold" and will likely be dropped after her release.

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