Chelsea Manning takes to Instagram to celebrate her release from prison

19 May, 2017, 18:18 | Author: Valerie Burke

"Whatever is ahead of me, is far more important than the past", said the 29-year-old, who served seven of a 35-year sentence over one of the largest leaks of classified documents in U.S. history.

"When I first wrote to Chelsea at the military prison in Kansas, she could not be filmed, nor could I communicate with her in any way other than through letters", the film's director told Rolling Stone as the cameras rolled. "The past will always affect me and I will keep that in mind while remember that how it played out is only my starting point, not my final destination".

The former military intelligence analyst, then known as Private First Class Bradley Manning, was convicted of providing more than 700,000 documents, videos, diplomatic cables and battlefield accounts to WikiLeaks, an worldwide organisation that publishes such information from anonymous sources.

In January, then-President Barack Obama commuted Manning's 35-year sentence for leaking troves of military intelligence records to the website Wikileaks.

Soon after she was imprisoned, Manning came out as transgender and changed her name to Chelsea.

She has reportedly tried to commit suicide twice past year and spent time in solitary confinement as punishment at the military prison in Fort Leavenworth. The request was eventually granted but her sentence was commuted before she could obtain the operation, according to the Washington Post.

Manning had been held at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, during which time she transitioned to a woman but was denied permission to grow her hair. She will not be paid but will receive healthcare benefits.

"Pvt. Manning is statutorily entitled to medical care while on excess leave in an active duty status, pending final appellate review", said Army spokesman Dave Foster.

"It was by far the longest sentence given to any whistleblower in US history", Pulse said, saying the film would depict "the journey of her fight for survival and dignity, and her transition from prisoner to a free woman".

"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", a statement said.

Confirming Manning's release on Wednesday, the spokesperson said: "I can confirm Manning has been released from The United States Disciplinary Barracks, Ft".

Manning still has an ongoing appeal on her conviction. She tried committing suicide twice, according to The New York Times.

The sentence was the longest punishment ever imposed on an American for leaking information from military documents.

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