Chelsea Manning freed from U.S. military prison

Chelsea Manning, who was sentenced to 35 years for leaking classified information to WikiLeaks, was freed from Kansas' Fort Leavenworth military prison on Wednesday. File Photo by UPI/U.S. Army

May 17 (UPI) — Chelsea Manning, the former U.S. Army intelligence analyst jailed for leaking classified information, has been freed from prison, a military official said.

Manning left Kansas’ Fort Leavenworth military prison early Wednesday. She will remain an unpaid, active duty soldier following her release.

“Chelsea Manning has left Fort Leavenworth,” a U.S. Army spokesperson told BBC News.

Manning received a 35-year sentence in 2013 following a court-martial in which she pleaded guilty to 10 criminal counts and was convicted on 21 others after providing classified information — about 750,000 documents — to WikiLeaks. The leaked information included a video of the so-called Collateral Murder video that showed a 2007 U.S. airstrike by two AH-64 Apache helicopters during the Iraq war in which up to 18 people, including civilians and two journalists, were killed.

Former President Barack Obama commuted Manning’s sentence before he left office in January.

“Chelsea Manning is free!” Amnesty International wrote on Twitter.

“I can see a future for myself as Chelsea,” Manning previously said in a statement released by her lawyers. “I can imagine surviving and living as the person who I am and can finally be in the outside world. Freedom used to be something that I dreamed of, but never allowed myself to fully imagine.”

Though she was born as Bradley Manning, after she was jailed she revealed she was transgender, changed her name and began hormone therapy while in the military prison to transition to a woman.

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