Pvt. Chelsea Manning was reportedly released from prison early Wednesday after serving seven years of a 35-year sentence for leaking classified military documents to WikiLeaks.
Lt. Col. Jennifer Johnson confirmed to CNN that Manning was released from the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas at around 3 am this morning.
Though neither military officials nor Manning’s legal team have provided many details about the soldier’s future, the Army did say that she would remain on active duty under a status known as “excess leave,” which would provide her access to military benefits.
“PVT Manning is statutorily entitled to medical care while on excess leave in an active duty status, pending final appellate review,” the Army said Wednesday.
“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.”
Amnesty International, who advocated for Manning throughout her imprisonment, shared a statement upon her release: “While we celebrate her freedom, we will continue to call for an independent investigation into the potential human rights violations she exposed, and for protections to be put in place to ensure whistleblowers like Chelsea are never again subjected to such appalling treatment.”
Last week, Manning took to Twitter to express excitement about her impending freedom and to thank supporters for their tireless advocacy on her behalf.
“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.
“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.”
She concluded: “I am forever grateful to the people who kept me alive, President Obama, my legal team and countless supporters.”
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 in 2013 for disclosing more than 700,000 confidential military documents to WikiLeaks, and served seven-years in military prison, where she was denied resources to help her transition, and attempted suicide several times.
This past January, President Obama commuted the majority of her sentence.
“Since she was first taken into custody, Chelsea has been subjected to long stretches of solitary confinement… and has been denied access to medically necessary health care,” Manning’s lawyer Chase Strangio said at the time. “This move could quite literally save Chelsea’s life, and we are all better off knowing that Chelsea Manning will walk out of prison a free woman, dedicated to making the world a better place and fighting for justice for so many.”