WASHINGTON.- Former U.S. Army intelligence analyst and whistleblower Chelsea Manning was released this Wednesday, May 17, after former President Barack Obama’s January commutation of her 35-year sentence.
Manning was convicted of leaking classified U.S. documents, following her leaking of documents through WikiLeaks that exposed the nature of U.S. warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan. Her sentence was the longest punishment ever imposed in the United States for such a crime.
Following her sentencing, Chelsea, formerly known as Bradley Manning, issued a statement identifying herself as a trans woman and requesting the medical therapy she needed to complete her transition from military authorities.
During her 7 years of imprisonment, Chelsea was subjected to various abuses including prolonged solitary confinement, and attempted suicide on two occasions in 2016.
According to a U.S. Army statement, the 29-year-old was released from the Fort Leavenworth military prison, Kansas, at 02:00 a.m. local time. Having left the prison, Chelsea tweeted a photograph with the message “First steps of freedom!!”