President Obama has commuted the sentences of Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning and Puerto Rican independence activist Oscar López Rivera as part of more than 200 commutations issued Tuesday. Chelsea Manning is now set to be freed on May 17, after Obama shortened her sentence from 35 years to seven. Attorneys for Manning say she is already the longest-held whistleblower in U.S. history. Manning leaked more than 700,000 classified files and videos to WikiLeaks about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and U.S. foreign policy. She has been subjected to long stretches of solitary confinement and denied medical treatment related to her gender identity. She attempted to commit suicide twice last year. Puerto Rican independence activist Oscar López Rivera has been imprisoned for about 35 years, much of the time in solitary confinement. In 1981, López Rivera was convicted on federal charges including seditious conspiracy—conspiring to oppose U.S. authority over Puerto Rico by force. In 1999, President Bill Clinton commuted the sentences of 16 members of the FALN, but López Rivera refused to accept the deal because it did not include two fellow activists, who have since been released. Under Obama’s commutation order, López Rivera will be also released on May 17.
Obama Commutes Sentences of Chelsea Manning & Oscar López Rivera
HeadlineJan 18, 2017