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Pvt. Chelsea Manning released from military prison

17 May 2017

Manning will remain on active duty in a special status after her scheduled release from prison on Wednesday, the army said on Tuesday.

An Army spokeswoman, Lt. Col.

Manning's life and name was embroiled in controversy even while she was in prison. She will have healthcare benefits but will be unpaid, the army says.

The Army said Wednesday that Manning remains subject to the military's criminal code until her discharge from the Army, and that her "excess leave" status will be lifted if she's prosecuted for any violations.

RT will be covering the release of Manning live from Leavenworth prison in Kansas.

"The US authorities' vindictive treatment of Chelsea Manning after she exposed potential military wrongdoing is a sad reflection of the extremes those in power often go to in order to deter others from speaking out". She infamously released 700,000 government files to WikiLeaks that contained classified information about the United States military and diplomatic activities.

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She also said she released information that she didn't believe would harm the USA, but critics said the leaks endangered information sources.

Once known as Private First Class Bradley Manning, she is likely to become a high-profile transgender advocate, said Chase Strangio, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who has represented her.

In the weeks leading up to her release, Manning's twitter account has counted down the days.

She attempted suicide twice a year ago and also conducted a hunger strike. Now, as the prison gates open, it is a reality for her. Worldwide, almost a quarter of a million actions were taken calling for her release.

She was not able to flee overseas like Edward Snowden, who in 2013 released documents showing that the NSA was sweeping up United States citizens' communications metadata.

"I personally would love for Chelsea to sit on a beach for a month and sip whatever drinks she likes to sip and relax", said Evan Greer, campaign director for Fight for the Future, a digital rights organization, who has been helping to raise money for Manning's return.

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"We can all finally truly celebrate the strength and heroism she has shown in surviving and sharing her truth and life with all of us", Strangio said.

Manning also told the Guardian she plans to fully enjoy her freedom: "I want that indescribable feeling of connection with people and nature again, without razor wire or a visitation booth".

Manning was held in solitary confinement for most of the time following her arrest in May 2010 until she was sent from Quantico to Leavenworth in March 2011.

After he commuted her sentence, President Obama said, "It has been my view that given she went to trial, that due process was carried out, that she took responsibility for her crime, that the sentence that she received was very disproportionate relative to what other leakers had received and that she had served a significant amount of time, that it made sense to commute, and not pardon, her sentence".

The Army said that while Manning is being assigned to Oklahoma's Fort Sill, she doesn't need to report for duty there, meaning she has discretion about where she lives.

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Pvt. Chelsea Manning released from military prison