President Obama has commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence officer, who is serving a 35 years for giving classified information to Wikileaks.
The decision, made in the last days of his presidency, means that Manning can be freed May 17, seven years into her sentence.
More than 117,000 people signed a petition asking Obama to cut short the sentence. Fugitive leaker Edward Snowden said in a tweet that if Obama could only free one person, it should be Manning.
Manning’s supporters were buoyed by indications that her petition was being taken seriously. At a White House briefing last week, Obama spokesman Josh Earnest said there was a “stark difference” between Manning’s crime and Snowden’s actions, with Snowden’s being “far more serious and far more dangerous.”
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