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Chelsea Manning released from prison in US

The US Army confirmed that she had left Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.

chelsea Source: Twitter

Updated 5.15pm

CHELSEA MANNING has been released from prison in the US.

The US Army confirmed this afternoon that she had left Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.

After seven years behind bars, Chelsea Manning will walk out of the security gates of the prison and finally able to complete her transition as a transgender woman.

Chelsea Manning Release Source: AP/PA Images

When she first arrived at the military barracks Manning was a male soldier, then known as Bradley, who stunned the world by releasing a huge trove of more than 700,000 classified military and diplomatic documents via WikiLeaks.

But she will have to return to active duty once released, because her court-martial conviction is still under appeal.

She will not get paid but will be entitled to some benefits, according to Army spokesman Dave Foster.

Speaking to ArmyTimes earlier this week, he said:

Pvt Manning is statutorily entitled to medical care while on excess leave in an active duty status, pending final appellate review.
In an active duty status, although in an unpaid status, Manning is eligible for direct care at medical treatment facilities, commissary privileges, morale welfare and recreation privileges, and exchange privileges.

Demonstration Alliance for Bradley Manning Cardboard cutout of then-Bradley Manning stands in front of the Brandenburg Gate during demonstration 'Alliance for Bradley Manning' in Berlin in 2013. Source: DPA/PA Images

Manning’s release follows a last-minute commutation of her sentence by president Barack Obama in the waning days of his administration.

Without Obama’s parting gift, Manning would have remained behind bars until 2045, after a 35-year sentence.

Suicide attempts

Manning, now 29, made two suicide attempts last year alone, along with a hunger strike to denounce the disciplinary measures to which she was subjected.

But the devastating cycle of depression, desperate measures and stays in solitary confinement is now over for Manning, who now turns a new page.

“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,” she wrote last week.

“Freedom used to be something that I dreamed of but never allowed myself to fully imagine.

Now, freedom is something that I will again experience with friends and loved ones after nearly seven years of bars and cement, of periods of solitary confinement, and of my health care and autonomy restricted, including routinely forced haircuts.

Manning’s mother has also released a statement in the last week saying she cannot wait for her daughter to enjoy freedom as a transgender woman.

She wrote:

“I am so proud of Chelsea and delighted she will finally be free again.

“It is going to be very hard for her to re-adjust after so long inside the prison’s four walls and I’m happy she will be staying in Maryland where she has family to look out for her.

Chelsea is so intelligent and talented, I hope she now has the chance to go to college to complete her studies, and to do and be whatever she wants.
My message to Chelsea? Two words: ‘Go, girl!”

With reporting by  © – AFP 2017

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