As one of his final acts as President, Barack Obama has commuted the remainder of former US intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning’s 35-year jail term.
The leaks, which contained over 700,000 documents and videos, included incident reports revealing abuse of detainees and rising civilian deaths during the Iraq War.
In July 2016, Manning was hospitalised after a suicide attempt, for which she was charged and sentenced to 14 days in solitary confinement with 7 days suspended.
She later disclosed that she had attempted suicide again while confined.
Manning had previously spent long stretches of time in solitary confinement while detained in military prisons overseas and in the now demolished facility in Quantico, Virginia.
The US army finally granted Manning permission to receive gender transition surgery following a five-day hunger strike in September. Her military doctor has nevertheless refused to change her gender on her military records.
She began hormone replacement therapy and counselling for gender dysphoria in early 2015.
There were grave fears about what could happen to Manning under President-elect Donald Trump once he assumes office on January 20 despite Trump previously being seen as supportive of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Obama’s commutation of Manning’s sentence came as a result of significant public pressure from activists and dedicated legal action from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). It has already enraged US Republicans, who see Manning as a traitor who endangered the lives of troops by publicising top secret information.
The former army private is due to be released on May 17th 2017, nearly 7 years since she was first arrested outside an army base in Baghdad.