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via Independent

Chelsea Manning petition hits over 100,000 signatures

The campaign, which hopes to commute the whistleblower’s sentence, will now receive an official response from the White House

A petition asking President Obama to commute Chelsea Manning’s 35-year prison sentence surpassed 100,000 signatures on Saturday, making a response from the White House now necessary and imminent. 

The former US soldier has been imprisoned for longer than any other whistleblower in American history, and the struggle to get her sentence reduced has been ongoing since her imprisonment in 2010. Manning has reportedly attempted suicide on various occasions during her time in confinement.

Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union wrote a letter to President Barack Obama, co-signed by a number of LGBT rights groups. “Our organisations may be of differing opinions concerning Ms. Manning’s actions; however, we stand united in our support for her clemency petition,” the letter read. “If approved, Ms. Manning will have a first chance to live a real, meaningful life as the person she was born to be.”

The letter also included a statement from Manning herself, who wrote: “The bottom line is this: I need help and I am still not getting it. I am living through a cycle of anxiety, anger, hopelessness, loss, and depression. I cannot focus. I cannot sleep. I attempted to take my own life.”

It also made clear that Manning was not asking to be pardoned for her crimes. “The sole relief that Ms. Manning is seeking is to be released from military prison after serving over six years of confinement – longer than any whistleblower in the history of our country,” it continued. “The consequences of her conviction would remain with her, including a punitive discharge, a reduction in rank, and the loss of veteran’s benefits.”

Manning responded to the success of the petition to commute her sentence on Twitter yesterday morning. “I don't know what to say. I am just grateful that I am not forgotten. You've given me hope. =')  #timeserved

Sign the petition here.