Chelsea Manning takes to Instagram to celebrate her release from prison
The US whistle-blower, who is transgender, has spent seven years behind bars.
US whistle-blower Chelsea Manning has celebrated her release from military prison in a way she would not have been able to seven years ago when she was arrested – through an Instagram post.
“First steps of freedom!!”, the 29-year-old wrote, accompanied by a picture of her shoes – which was also posted to Twitter.
Manning, from Oklahoma, was arrested in May 2010 for leaking classified government materials to WikiLeaks – five months before Instagram’s release.
After leaving Fort Leavenworth, a military prison in Kansas, Manning has clearly been making the most of her freedom – posting a picture of herself enjoying a slice of pizza.
The former member of the US military was given a 35-year sentence in 2013 before former president Barack Obama granted her clemency during his final days in office.
There have been protests held to have Manning released from prison, and on the most part her posts on social media were warmly received.
On Instagram one user, Drake Shipway, wrote “Iconic!!! We love you Chelsea. Thank you for your bravery” and another, username demonickalfun, wrote “Thank you for your sacrifices. Welcome home Chelsea”.
I am so happy for you Chelsea! Wishing you a wonderful new life!— Edward OZ (@itsEdwardOZ) May 17, 2017
Although some thought the topping on Manning’s pizza was a little stingy.
Dude. Go back and ask for more pepperoni. You earned it.— J-Money (@JDollarSign) May 17, 2017
However, not everyone had positive things to say on Manning’s release. Manning was convicted of 20 counts, including six Espionage Act violations, theft and computer fraud – and some don’t appear to agree with her actions.
According to the left, Trump is a traitor but Chelsea Manning is not. Got it.— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) May 17, 2017
Manning said in a statement following her release: “I’m figuring things out right now – which is exciting, awkward, fun, and all new for me.
“I am looking forward to so much! Whatever is ahead of me is far more important than the past.”
Manning is transgender and was formerly known as Bradley Manning before transitioning in prison.