Wikileaks Chelsea Manning To Walk Free In May, White House Confirms

One of President Obama's last acts in office has been to commute much of Wikileaks leaker Chelsea Manning's sentence, and she will walk free on May 17. Confirmation came from the White House today, with many praising the decision, one that could have saved Manning's life.

Having been sentenced to 35 years for leaks to Julian Assange's organization, Manning has spent much time in solitary confinement. Supporters feared for her life, as Manning's gender dysphoria and will to have sex-reassignment surgery caused considerable grief while serving her time in an all-male prison. She made at least one attempt to take her own life, for which she was given a term in solitary.

Manning's representation, Chase Strangio, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, said the decision "could quite literally save Chelsea's life." "We are all better off knowing that Chelsea Manning will walk out of prison a free woman, dedicated to making the world a better place and fighting for justice for so many," Strangio added.

Nancy Hollander and Vince Ward, Manning's appellate counselors, said in a joint statement that Manning disclosed information that "served the public interest and never caused harm." The 35-year sentence, the longest ever handed to a whistleblower, "was always excessive," they added.

Though Obama has received praise for the commutation, it "will not make good the harm done on Obama's watch," said Sarah Harrison, acting director of the Courage Foundation, which runs the European side of Chelsea Manning's defense fund. (Forbes)



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