President Barack Obama is commuting a bulk of the remaining prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the Army intelligence analyst responsible for a major 2010 military leak, according to a New York Times report. Manning is scheduled to be released from federal custody on 17th May according to the report.
The commutation appears to have occurred against all odds. Manning tried to commit suicide twice last year and has also gone on a hunger strike to protest her treatment at the US Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Her struggles in confinement have been long and complicated.
Manning has also pushed for treatment for her gender dysphoria that includes a sex reassignment surgery — something the military has no experience providing prisoners with.
When she was initially imprisoned in 2010, Chelsea Manning was still known as Bradley Manning. At her court-martial, Manning confessed in detail to stealing 700,00 military files and diplomatic cables from American embassies and giving the stolen data to Wikileaks. Manning was convicted by a court-martial in July 2013 of violations of the Espionage Act among other offenses. She was sentenced in August 2013 to 35 years of imprisonment.
Manning’s 35-year sentence was particularly harsh for a leak conviction. The New York Times reports that it was the longest punishment imposed against someone charged with leaking US intelligence information.