Chelsea Manning: ‘Hello world, here I am’

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Chelsea Manning’s prison sentence is over. The former U.S. military intelligence analyst who was responsible for a 2010 leak of classified material to WikiLeaks, was released from jail early Wednesday morning. Jillian Kitchener reports.

Chelsea Manning on her first full day of freedom. Picture: Twitter

THE former intelligence analyst who stole classified documents on the Iraq war and shared them with Wikileaks has ended her first full day of freedom by sharing a photograph with the world.

Chelsea Manning was released yesterday after serving seven years of her 35-year sentence and marked the occasion with pizza, champagne with friends and a selfie.

The 29-year-old was jailed as Bradley Manning from 2010 and held while on trial, before being convicted in 2013 of 20 charges including violating the Espionage Act and computer fraud.

Not long after landing behind bars, she filed a transgender rights lawsuit and began to transition to a woman.

A portrait posted on Twitter by Chelsea Manning, the transgender soldier formerly known as Bradley Manning, after being freed from a military prison yesterday. Picture: Twitter

A portrait posted on Twitter by Chelsea Manning, the transgender soldier formerly known as Bradley Manning, after being freed from a military prison yesterday. Picture: TwitterSource:AP

Today’s selfie, shared on Twitter and ReTweeted more than 11,000 times, was the first time many would’ve seen Manning as a woman.

“Okay, so here I am everyone,” she wrote alongside the image. “#HelloWorld.”

RELATED: Chelsea Manning’s case — a timeline of key dates

Earlier in the day, Manning Tweeted a picture of herself clinking champagne flutes with two friends, alongside the caption: “Here’s to freedom and a new beginning.”

Before she transitioned, Chelsea was known as Bradley Manning  an intelligence analyst who leaked classified documents to Wikileaks. Picture: Getty Images

Before she transitioned, Chelsea was known as Bradley Manning — an intelligence analyst who leaked classified documents to Wikileaks. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:AFP

While in jail, Manning attempted suicide twice, her lawyers said.

After her release, she told ABC in the US that the past several years would always have an impact but that she wanted to move on with her life.

“I appreciate the wonderful support that I have received from so many people across the world over these past years,’ she said. “As I rebuild my life, I remind myself not to relive the past.”

Manning was an intelligence analyst in Iraq for the US Army when she leaked the materials to Wikileaks, founded by Australian Julian Assange.

Chelsea Manning spent seven years in jail after leaking military documents relating to the war in Iraq to Julian Assanges organisation Wikileaks. Picture: AP

Chelsea Manning spent seven years in jail after leaking military documents relating to the war in Iraq to Julian Assange’s organisation Wikileaks. Picture: APSource:AP

It included battlefield video. Critics said the leaks laid bare some of the nation’s most-sensitive secrets and endangered information sources.

Chelsea Manning shares a photo on Twitter celebrating her first day of freedom. Picture: Twitter

Chelsea Manning shares a photo on Twitter celebrating her first day of freedom. Picture: TwitterSource:Twitter

Manning said she wanted to expose what she considered to be the US military’s disregard of the effects of war on civilians.

Barack Obama’s decision to commute Manning’s sentence to about seven years, including the time she spent locked up before being convicted, drew strong criticism from members of Congress with Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan calling the move “just outrageous”.

People celebrate the release of Chelsea Manning in San Francisco yesterday. Picture: AFP

People celebrate the release of Chelsea Manning in San Francisco yesterday. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

Before leaving office, US President Barack Obama commuted Chelsea Mannings sentence. Picture: AP

Before leaving office, US President Barack Obama commuted Chelsea Manning’s sentence. Picture: APSource:AP

In a statement last week Manning thanked the former US president and said letters of support from veterans and fellow transgender people inspired her “to work toward making life better for others”.

“For the first time, I can see a future for myself as Chelsea,” she said.

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