Former Army soldier Chelsea Manning will be released from prison next week, her attorneys announced Tuesday.
“For the first time, I can see a future for myself as Chelsea,” Manning said in a written statement. “I can imagine surviving and living as the person who I am and finally be in the outside world.”
“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 through routinely forced haircuts,” she added.
“I hope to take the lessons that I have learned, the love that I have been given, and the hope that I have to work toward making life better for others.”
Manning's representatives told CNN that they could not provide an exact release date, but a White House statement in January said her sentence expires on May 17.
Former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaNo Hillary — the 'Third Way' is the wrong way Biden should pivot to a pro-growth strategy on immigration reform One year on, a critical role needs to be filled by the administration MORE commuted Manning’s prison sentence in January, cutting short a sentence that would have originally ended in 2045.
Obama said that Manning, a former Army intelligence analyst, had served a “very disproportionate” prison sentence for leaking military secrets.
“I feel very comfortable that justice has been served,” he said during his last press conference as president. “Chelsea Manning has served a tough prison sentence.”
Manning, who is transgender, was convicted in 2013 of leaking classified information about U.S. national security activities that were later disclosed by WikiLeaks. The 35-year sentence Manning received was the longest ever imposed for a leak conviction.
Manning had already served seven years of her sentence when Obama commuted it.
The former Army private tried committing suicide twice during her imprisonment, spending time in solitary confinement as punishment.