Pvt. Chelsea Manning was released from prison Wednesday after serving seven years of a 35-year sentence for leaking thousands of diplomatic cables and other secret documents to WikiLeaks, the U.S. Army said.
Cynthia Smith, an Army spokesperson, confirmed Manning had left Fort Leavenworth military prison in Kansas.
"I can confirm Manning has been released from The United States Disciplinary Barracks, Ft. Leavenworth," Smith said in a statement. "Based on privacy act restrictions there is nothing further I can provide at this time."
The transgender soldier, 29, who entered prison as a man named Bradley Manning, will remain an active-duty, unpaid soldier, eligible for health care and other benefits, following her release.
Manning was arrested outside a U.S. Army base in Iraq in May 2010. Her 2013 sentence was commuted in the final days of the Obama administration, a move that infuriated some in the military and President Trump.
Nancy Hollander, Manning's lawyer, told the BBC: "She's ready to finally be able to live as the woman that she is."
On Monday, Manning tweeted: "Two more days until the freedom of civilian life ^_^ Now hunting for private #healthcare like millions of Americans =P"
While Manning’s court-martial conviction remains under appeal, she will remain a private in the Army, said Dave Foster, an Army spokesman. As an active duty soldier, Manning will continue to receive health care and have access to commissaries and military exchanges, but she will not be paid.
The Army refused to disclose the other terms of Manning’s release, six years before her eligibility for parole, citing privacy concerns.
Hollander, told the Guardian: “People keep assuming that just because someone is released their appeal is over. The rest of her case is still out there and we want to clear her name. She was convicted of crimes that I don’t believe she committed and her whole prosecution was unfair.”
A statement by Manning’s mother Susan Manning, from Wales in the United Kingdom, and other family members released by Britain's Press Association in January said: "We are all overjoyed that Chelsea will soon be free."
"Chelsea exposed wrongdoing and was punished for being a whistleblower. We regret that it has taken so long for President Obama to commute the sentence and are outraged that Chelsea has been forced to endure such abusive treatment in prison. We agree with the UN Special Rapporteur Juan Mendez that some of this abuse amounted to torture."
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