On Tuesday, outgoing President Obama commuted the prison sentence of Chelsea Manning.
Chelsea Manning was convicted in 2013 of leaking classified documents about US national security activities to WikiLeaks.
The 35-year sentence handed down to the former army soldier was the longest ever imposed for a leak conviction.
Manning has served seven years of that 35 year sentence, and will now be released on May 17, 2017.
Here is Julian Assange’s full statement, following a Wikileaks “VICTORY” tweet, and a series of Snowden tweets, that thanked President Obama for this act.
I welcome President Obama’s decision to commute the sentence of Ms. Chelsea Manning from 35 years to time served, but Ms. Manning should never have been convicted in the first place. Ms. Manning is a hero, whose bravery should have been applauded not condemned. Journalists, publishers, and their sources serve the public interest and promote democracy by distributing authentic information on key matters such as human rights abuses, and illegal acts by government officials. They should not be prosecuted. In order for democracy and the rule of law to thrive, the Government should immediately end its war on whistleblowers and publishers, such as Wikileaks and myself.
Now the question on everyone’s mind is whether Assange will leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and face off with the incoming Trump DOJ?
Assange’s lawyers made this statement…
Mr. Assange welcomes President Obama’s decision to commute Chelsea Manning’s sentence. Whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning serve the public interest. She should never have been prosecuted and sentenced to decades in prison. She should be released immediately. Likewise, publishers of truthful information serve the public interest, promote democracy, and should not be prosecuted. The war on whistleblowers should end now and should not be continued in the new Administration. For many months, I have asked the DOJ to clarify Mr. Assange’s status. I hope it will soon. The Department of Justice should not pursue any charges against Mr. Assange based on his publication of truthful information and should close its criminal investigation of him immediately.”
Zerohedge sums both statements…
–it appears that US extradition is on the cards for Julian Assange as he is “confident” of a fair trial under President Trump – a very different situation to Obama’s Justice Department which “prevented a fair jury.”
We wish him luck.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.