Barack Obama ‘pardons’ whistleblower Bradley ‘Chelsea’ Manning

President Barack Obama commutes the sentence of former US military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, the White House says.

Manning who is serving 35 years in prison for passing classified files to WikiLeaks, last November asked the Obama administration to commute her sentence to time already served.

Under the terms of Obama’s commutation, Manning is set to be freed on May 17 of this year, rather than in 2045.

Manning, who has been in military jail for six years for leaking hundreds of thousands of documents, has twice tried to take her own life while imprisoned.

Manning, formerly known as US Army Private First Class Bradley Manning, was born male but revealed after being convicted of espionage that she identifies as a woman.

She accepted responsibility for leaking the material, has said she was confronting gender dysphoria at the time of the leaks while deployed in Iraq.

The sentencing has been branded excessive and out of step with other sentences imposed on whistleblowers.

Among the files turned over to WikiLeaks in 2010 was a gunsight video of a US Apache helicopter firing at suspected Iraqi insurgents in 2007. A dozen people were killed, including two Reuters news staff.

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