Washington, Jan 18 (EFE).- Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and former analyst of the United States National Security Agency Edward Snowden have applauded the commutation of the sentence of Chelsea Manning.
“Thank you to everyone who campaigned for Chelsea Manning’s clemency. Your courage & determination made the impossible possible,” said Assange through the Wikileaks account on Twitter, after US President Barack Obama commuted the sentence on Monday.
In 2010, Manning leaked to Assange secret documents (470,000 records from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, 250,000 messages from the US Department of State and other classified documents) triggering a setback for American diplomacy after Wikileaks published them.
Manning, then called Bradley, was arrested in June 2010 and sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2013.
At the Kansas military prison in which Manning is held, he underwent a sex change operation and attempted suicide on two occasions in recent months.
Assange, who has been living under political asylum in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, said last week that if Obama suspended the ex-soldier’s sentence he would surrender himself to US justice, a commitment that his lawyer, Melinda Taylor, reiterated Monday with “everything that (Assange) has said he’s standing by.”Manning’s sentence commutation was also welcomed by Snowden, who in 2013 leaked details of wide-ranging national and international espionage programs and took refuge in Russia to avoid prosecution in the USA.
“Let it be said here in earnest, with good heart: Thanks, Obama,” Snowden tweeted.
Snowden had also asked Obama to pardon him but his plea was rejected prompting Snowden to flee to Russia.
The NSA ex-analyst further tweeted a message to Manning saying “In five more months, you will be free. Thank you for what you did for everyone, Chelsea. Stay strong a while longer!”