The White House just announced that President Obama has commuted the majority of imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning’s sentence 35 year sentence. She will be released on May 17th, 2017 having already served more than 6 years, longer than any other whistleblower in U.S. history.
Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, who has been an ardent supporter of Chelsea’s and speaks to her on the phone on a regular basis, released the following statement:
"Chelsea’s release is massive victory for free speech, human rights, and democracy. As someone who has become friends with Chelsea over the last year, but has never had a chance to see her face or give her a hug, I’m overjoyed that she will be able to share her beautiful self with the world. She has so much to offer, and her freedom will be a testament to the power of grassroots organizing. I’m so excited for the world to get to know her as the compassionate, intelligent, and kind person who she is."
More than 100,000 people signed an official Whitehouse.gov petition, meeting the threshold to require a response from the President.
The ACLU and more than a dozen prominent LGBT organizations sent a letter to President Obama calling for Chelsea’s commutation
Human Rights Watch sent a letter to President Obama supporting clemency
Dozens of other human rights, free speech, government transparency, and civil liberties organizations have called for Chelsea’s release
A wide range of notable people have publicly supported Chelsea including Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Morris C. Davis, journalist Glenn Greenwald, Sean Ono Lennon, REM lead singer Michael Stipe, comedian Margaret Cho, Thurston Moore, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine,, and many others.