Chelsea Manning, the U.S. Army soldier who was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking thousands of secret files to WikiLeaks, walked free today from the military detention facility in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, after spending about seven years in prison.
She reportedly left the facility at 3 a.m. ET.
Manning, 29, who was sentenced in 2013, entered prison as Bradley Manning, but announced a day later that she’d felt female since she was a child and wanted to live as Chelsea. President Obama commuted much of her sentence last year during his last days in office. During her time in prison, Manning had attempted suicide at least twice.
In a statement last week, Manning said: “For the first time, I can see a future for myself as Chelsea. I can imagine surviving and living as the person who I am and can finally be in the outside world.” Writing on Twitter this week, she said:
Two more days until the freedom of civilian life ^_^ Now hunting for private #healthcare like millions of Americans =P— Chelsea Manning (@xychelsea) May 15, 2017
Following her release, Manning will reportedly remain on active duty and will receive military healthcare benefits while her conviction is appealed. She is expected to live in Maryland where she has family, but her attorneys are releasing few details about her next plans.
Manning was arrested in 2010 in connection with the leaks of classified documents to WikiLeaks. She was sentenced three years later.
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