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Obama May Commute Chelsea Manning’s Sentence

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This post is also available in: French

President Obama might commute whistleblower Chelsea Manning’s 35-year prison sentence for leaking sensitive government documents to the press. According to NBC News, Obama has put Manning “on his short list.”

Manning was convicted of violations of the Espionage Act in 2013 after she passed documents on to WikiLeaks. The documents included a 2007 video showing a US air crew laughing while killing Iraqi civilians.

Before her trial, Manning was held in solitary confinement for 11 months, treatment the United Nations called “torture.”

Manning’s long sentence has been called unusually strict. NBC writes:

[The judge] gave Manning a sentence about 10 times longer than those of recent whistle-blowers.

“After this case, I had to tell Chelsea — ‘I’ve represented murderers. I’ve represented rapists. I’ve represented child molesters. And none of them received 35 years,'” defense lawyer David Coombs told NBC News.

After the verdict, Manning came out as transgender. She is still being held in men’s prison.

Since she was imprisoned, Manning has attempted suicide twice and gone on a hunger strike to protest her harsh living conditions.

Public figures like Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein and Jill Stein, 100,000 petitioners and organizations like the ACLU have called for Obama to commute Manning’s sentence.

But will Obama do it? The clock is ticking.