In his last week of office, President Obama on Tuesday shortened the remaining prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the army intelligence analyst-turned whistleblower, who leaked information revealing American military and diplomatic practices across the globe in 2010, the New York Times first reported.
Manning's disclosure of classified information uncovered detainee abuse and torture at at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and revealed the circumstances that led to the death of two Reuters journalists in Baghdad.
She is expected to be freed on May 17, 2017.
Manning originally was sentenced to 35 years for violating the Espionage Act, which would have left her imprisoned at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., an all-male facility, until 2045.
She was convicted of disseminating 750,000 pages of documents and videos to WikiLeaks-- the largest information leak in U.S. history.
After her arrest, Manning spent 11 months in solitary confinement.
Delighted to hear Chelsea Manning's sentence has been commuted. A brave, heroic woman unjustly imprisoned by the "land of the free"— Genie Luxemburg (@Sprachstudentin) January 17, 2017
News of her commutation was met with mixed reviews.
Human rights groups like Amnesty International began to push for Manning's release from prison following reports of her deteriorating mental health. The former army intelligence analyst attempted suicide twice last year.
Formerly known as Bradley Manning, her lawyers said that she was denied adequate medical treatment for her gender dysphoria--a condition in which there is a conflict with an individual's sexuality and gender identities.
In his last White House press briefing on Tuesday, spokesperson Josh Earnest described the "stark differences" between Manning and Edward Snowden--the former CIA employee who provided classified information regarding the activities of the National Security Administration to a media outlet in the U.K.
“Chelsea Manning is somebody who went through the military criminal justice process, was exposed to due process, was found guilty, was sentenced for her crimes, and she acknowledged wrongdoing,” Earnest said. “Mr. Snowden fled into the arms of an adversary, and has sought refuge in a country that most recently made a concerted effort to undermine confidence in our democracy.”
Edward Snowden tweeted out some encouragement to Manning.
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