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Chelsea Manning, the transgender soldier who was imprisoned for releasing classified military information, expressed gratitude in her first statement since being granted clemency, one week before she is expected to be released.

Manning said that she hopes to use lessons she's learned in prison to help others.

In December 2016, the ACLU and more than a dozen LGBT groups sent a letter to President Obama urging the commutation of Manning's sentence.

Representatives of the 29-year-old army private - formerly known as Bradley Manning - could not say the exact day she will be released, but a White House statement in January said it would be May 17.

Congressional Republicans criticized the commutation as a risky precedent.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.

Manning's release would close out a almost decade-long saga surrounding her decision to record State Department communiques and battlefield "significant acts" reports from her classified SIPRNET computer terminal in Iraq and send them to Wikileaks, a then-little-known hacktivist site that published the leaks in 2010, to much media fanfare, as the "Iraq War Logs" and "Afghan War Diary".

Her attorneys said Manning was subjected to violence in prison and argued the military mistreated her by requiring her to serve her sentence in an all-male prison and not allowing her to wear a feminine-style haircut.

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To read this article in one of Houston's most-spoken languages, click on the button below. "As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me", she said in a statement announcing the change. Manning was acquitted of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy.

Manning, who is transgender, was convicted in 2013 of leaking classified information about USA national security activities that were later disclosed by WikiLeaks. "I can imagine surviving and living as the person who I am and can finally be in the outside world", Manning wrote.

She reportedly tried to commit suicide and went on hunger strikes in the military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Several ambassadors were recalled, expelled or reassigned because of embarrassing disclosures.

Manning twice attempted suicide past year at the male military prison where she is being held at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. It has been far too long, too severe, too draconian.

The Department of Defense has repeatedly declined to comment on Manning's treatment in prison.

She added, "I am forever grateful to the people who kept me alive, President Obama, my legal team and countless supporters".


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