Chelsea Manning, soldier who leaked classified US documents, to be released

President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama

Chelsea Manning, the US soldier jailed for leaking classified information to WikiLeaks, will be released this May.

In one of his final acts in the White House, outgoing President Barack Obama commuted Ms Manning’s 35-year sentence to seven years of confinement from the date of her arrest, meaning she will be released on 17 May 2017.

He commuted a total of 209 sentences and pardoned 64 others.

While working as an intelligence analyst with access to classified databases in 2009-10, Ms Manning leaked videos of US airstrikes and hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and Army reports.

She was subsequently charged and convicted by court-martial of 22 offences, including aiding the enemy.

Her imprisonment has been dogged by allegations of mistreatment.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) successfully sued the Department of Defense in 2014 over its refusal to treat the transgender prisoner’s gender dysphoria.

Ms Manning’s lawyers have also claimed that she was placed in solitary confinement as punishment for a suicide attempt in July 2016, and that she attempted suicide a second time in November 2016.

Ms Manning’s lawyer, David Coombs, said the commutation of her sentence is “a great act of mercy by President Obama”.

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