- Title: Amnesty praises Obamaâ€™s decision to shorten Manningâ€™s sentence
- Date: 18th January 2017
- Summary: CRAWSHAW'S HAND ON COMPUTER MOUSE CRAWSHAW WORKING ON COMPUTER
- Embargoed: 1st February 2017 14:05
- Keywords: Amnesty International Chelsea Manning Obama prison sentence
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM / FORT MEADE, MARYLAND UNITED STATES / UNKNOWN LOCATION, BRAZIL / UNKNOWN LOCATION
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM / FORT MEADE, MARYLAND UNITED STATES / UNKNOWN LOCATION, BRAZIL / UNKNOWN LOCATION
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice
- Reuters ID: LVA0025ZLZJUV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Amnesty International said on Wednesday (January 18) applauded U.S President Barack Obama's decision to shorten the prison sentence for Chelsea Manning.
Manning, the former U.S. military intelligence analyst who was responsible for a 2010 leak of classified materials to anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, the biggest such breach in U.S. history.
Obama, in one of his final acts before leaving office, reduced Manning's sentence to seven years on Tuesday (January 17), a move praised by the global human rights charity.
"Amnesty International has been campaigning for many years for Chelsea Manning's release and has had vast support around the world, the pressure has been growing and growing and we are glad that that has finally been recognised with this decision," said Amnesty International senior advisor, Steve Crawshaw in London.
"Chelsea Manning's incarceration has been entirely unacceptable. Here was somebody who highlighted the most terrible human rights abuses that were being committed and here we have the irony that those who committed those human rights abuses, possible war crimes, were unpunished and yet she was locked up for 35 years. It's very very good news that she will now be free," he told Reuters.
Manning has been a focus of a worldwide debate on government secrecy since she provided more than 700,000 documents, videos, diplomatic cables and battlefield accounts to WikiLeaks - a leak for which she was sentenced to serve 35 years in prison.
Manning was working as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad in 2010 when she gave WikiLeaks a trove of diplomatic cables and battlefield accounts that included a 2007 gunsight video of a U.S. Apache helicopter firing at suspected insurgents in Iraq, killing a dozen people including two Reuters news staff.
Manning, formerly known as U.S. Army Private First Class Bradley Manning, was born male but revealed after being convicted of espionage that she identifies as a woman. The White House said her sentence would end on May 17 this year.
Manning, who twice tried to kill herself last year and has struggled to cope as a transgender woman in the men's military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, accepted responsibility for leaking the material -- a factor that fed into Obama's decision, a White House official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Amnesty urged Obama to pardon former U.S. Intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, before he leaves office.
The National Security Agency (NSA) whistle blower currently has asylum in Russia after leaking classified information about U.S. spy operations.
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