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Manning to Remain in Army, Receive Health Care Benefits After Prison Release

© AP Photo / U.S. ArmyChelsea Manning
Chelsea Manning - Sputnik International
Chelsea Manning will be released from prison this week, after her sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama, and it turns out that she will remain on active duty in the US Army once she is free.

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Manning is scheduled to be released from the military prison at Fort Leavenworth on Wednesday.

Though Manning will be an unpaid soldier, she will still be eligible for health care and other benefits as a private in the Army.

"Pvt. Manning is statutorily entitled to medical care while on excess leave in an active duty status, pending final appellate review," Army spokesman Dave Foster said in a statement, which Military.com reported.

Manning has been incarcerated in the all-male prison since May 2010, for violating the US Espionage Act in 2013 by leaking approximately 700,000 documents to WikiLeaks for publication online, in what later became known as the Afghan War Diaries.

During her incarceration, she was denied proper medical treatment for gender dysphoria and has twice attempted suicide.

"For the first time, I can see a future for myself as Chelsea," Manning said in her first public statement since being granted clemency last Tuesday. "I can imagine surviving and living as the person who I am and can finally be in the outside world. Freedom used to be something that I dreamed of but never allowed myself to fully imagine."

A combination made on July 3, 2013 shows a file picture of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (L) taken on June 7, 2013 in London and a still frame grab recorded on June 6, 2013 in Hong Kong of former US agent of the National Security Agency, Edward Snowden - Sputnik International
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Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for what she called an “act of conscience,” as her intention with the leak was to show the American public the “true cost” of war.

"Manning disclosed the materials because, under the circumstances, she thought it was the right thing to do," Manning's attorneys stated in an appeal brief filed last year. "She believed the public had a right to know about the toll of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the loss of life, and the extent to which the government sought to hide embarrassing information of its wrongdoing."

Many have long maintained that Manning’s disclosures contributed significantly to bringing an official end to the war in Iraq.

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