Chelsea Manning released after 7 years in military prison
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 17, 2017,
May 17, 2017, 17:00
She also said she released information that she didn't believe would harm the US, but critics said the leaks endangered information sources.
As Chelsea Manning walks out of military prison today after seven years of incarceration at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, she will be filmed by director Tim Travers Hawkins.
Former President Obama commuted Manning's sentence in January, saying she had served a "tough sentence".
After being forced to serve her sentence in jail for leaking classified secrets about the USA military as a man, the transgender Chelsea Manning, 29-years-old, is finally "ready to be able to live as the woman that she is", as said by her lawyer Nancy Hollander.
She was able to start hormonal treatment in prison to begin transitioning toward her female identity.
The U.S. Army says Pvt. She said she wanted to expose what she considered to be the USA military's disregard of the effects of war on civilians and that she released information that she didn't believe would harm the U.S. "I can imagine surviving and living as the person who I am and can finally be in the outside world", she wrote last week.
Manning, now 29, made two suicide attempts previous year alone, along with a hunger strike to denounce the disciplinary measures to which she was subjected.
A former intelligence analyst in Iraq, Manning is being released in accordance with former President Barack Obama's decision to grant her clemency in his final days in office.
Bust since her impending release was announced, Manning's outlook has gotten brighter.
Al Jazeera's Shihab Rattansi, reporting from Quantico, Virginia, where Manning was detained at a US Marines base for three years, said her leaks "revealed the normality of lies and brutality" by the US government. While she is on suspension without pay, she will still have access to commissaries and military medical care, under which she is eligible for gender reassignment surgery. She had been in custody since being arrested in May 2010.
"Chelsea is someone who has taken on a great personal risk and tremendous personal cost to do something she thought was in the best interest of the public", said Chase Strangio, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union and a well-known transgender activist. The Army also eventually allowed her to use makeup and receive hormone therapy.
She was sentenced to loss of rank and forfeiture of all pay.
Because Manning's conviction is under appeal, she is to remain in the military on "excess leave in an active-duty status" entitling her to healthcare, the military said.