Pin It
chelsea manning

Chelsea Manning has prison sentence commuted by Obama

The outgoing administration will see the former soldier, initially imprisoned for 35 years for leaking state secrets, freed May 17

Chelsea Manning, the former U.S soldier serving the longest sentence of any whistleblower of our time for leaking secret military and government information, will be released from prison on May 17.

Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison after giving Wikileaks information on war crimes committed in Iraq and Afghanistan and other state secrets. She has served six years of the sentence.

With three days left as president of the United States, Barack Obama has commuted Manning’s sentence, which will see her walk free from the all-male Fort Leavenworth, Kansas military prison.

Speaking to the Guardian, the former soldier’s lawyer Nancy Hollander said: “I cannot believe it – in 120 days she will be free and it will all be over. It’s incredible.”

In an official petition to the president to see her sentence shortened before Obama exited the White House, Manning said she had taken “full and complete responsibility”.

“I have never made any excuses for what I did. I pleaded guilty without the protection of a plea agreement because I believed the military justice system would understand my motivation for the disclosure and sentence me fairly. I was wrong,” the petition read. 

The whistleblower has been forced to endure prolonged periods of solitary confinement, and tried to take her own life after suffering from abuse in prison, for which she was punished with more solitary confinement. She also went on hunger strike until her gender transition surgery was agreed.

A petition to see Manning's sentence shortened garnered thousands of signatures. Supporters of Chelsea Manning across the world have been celebrating on social media.