Washington — US President Barack Obama on Tuesday slashed the sentence of transgender army private Chelsea Manning, who had been sentenced to 35 years behind bars for handing classified US documents to WikiLeaks. Obama pardoned 64 people and commuted the sentences of 209 others — including Manning, who will now be released in May — in one of his final acts as president. Manning was convicted in August 2013 of espionage and other offences, after admitting to the leak of 700,000 sensitive military and diplomatic documents. The cache included military logs from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and cables offering sensitive — and often embarrassingly bare-knuckle — diplomatic assessments of foreign leaders and world events. Then Bradley Manning pleaded guilty and was sentenced by military court martial. She has since been held in an all-male prison, at times in solitary confinement, and has attempted to commit suicide twice. Activists had argued her sentence is excessive and point to the ps...

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