President Barack Obama has commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, who was serving time in prison for leaking Army secrets to WikiLeaks.
Manning, who was once known as Bradley Manning, was a Private in the United States Army who leaked military documents to WikiLeaks. Manning was convicted in 2013 for violations of the Espionage Act and sentenced to 35 years in prison.
While in prison, Manning underwent a sex change operation and changed his name from Bradley to Chelsea.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and a number of liberal activists had been calling for Obama to set Manning free.
Manning could be freed as early as May, although that report cannot yet be verified.
Manning accepted responsibility for leaking the material to WikiLeaks, and has said she was confronting gender dysphoria at the time of the leaks while deployed in Iraq.
She attempted suicide twice last year, according to her lawyers, citing her treatment at Leavenworth.
Chase Strangio, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney representing Manning, said the president’s action “quite literally save Chelsea’s life.”
“We are all better off knowing that Chelsea Manning will walk out of prison a free woman, dedicated to making the world a better place and fighting for justice for so many,” Stangio said in a statement.
“Thank you to everyone who campaigned for Chelsea Manning’s clemency,” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said in a message posted to Twitter. “Your courage & determination made the impossible possible.”
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