Former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, born Bradley Manning, is scheduled to be released from imprisonment at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas next week.
In a statement published on Luminairity Tuesday, Manning thanked supporters and former President Obama.
“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. Freedom used to be something that I dreamed of but never allowed myself to fully imagine,” it read, in-part.
“I watched the world change from inside prison walls and through the letters that I have received from veterans, trans young people, parents, politicians and artists. My spirits were lifted in dark times, reading of their support, sharing in their triumphs, and helping them through challenges of their own.”
Freedom was only a dream, and hard to imagine. Now it's here! You kept me alive <3 https://t.co/abkGoA3fOi
— Chelsea Manning (@xychelsea) May 9, 2017
Manning was convicted by a military court in 2013 on 17 counts of espionage and theft under the Espionage Act of 1917 for leaking over 700,000 classified and unclassified military documents and diplomatic cables to investigative journalistic group, WikiLeaks, in 2010.
Originally sentenced to 35 years, former President Obama commuted Manning’s sentence on January 17. Mr. Obama said at the time Manning’s sentence was “very disproportionate relative to what other leakers have received.”
During her time in prison, Manning attempted suicide while held in solitary confinement and went on a hunger strike to protest alleged bullying by prison officials. Manning ended her five-day hunger strike when the military agreed to perform medical procedures for her gender transition.
Upon release, Manning will have served almost seven years in military prison.
[The Hill] [Photo courtesy Cliff Owen/AP via ABC News]