Press Releases

Statement On the Release of Chelsea Manning

May 17, 2017
Contact: Kurt Walters, (202) 630-0299, [email protected]

Today, Chelsea Manning is being released from military prison after serving seven years during which she was exposed to appalling conditions. Despite having the bulk of her sentence commuted by President Obama, her years served – in an otherwise all-male prison – constitute the longest time served in U.S. history for disclosing information that served the public interest.

Demand Progress members mobilized passionately and en masse in support of Manning, raising more than $50,000 for her legal defense and Welcome Home Fund, and organizing hundreds of thousands of grassroots actions against the mistreatment and abuse she faced.

The following statement can be attributed to Demand Progress Executive Director David Segal:

“After suffering years of inhumane treatment, Chelsea Manning walks out of prison today a free woman. Chelsea has served more time in prison for disclosing information in the public interest than any other person in U.S. history, including a year in solitary confinement – treatment considered torture by the United Nations.

“We congratulate Chelsea on her release, and thank her tireless supporters at Demand Progress and around the country, without whom this day would not have been possible.

“We hope that the inspiring outpouring of activism for Chelsea’s cause and President Obama’s commutation of her sentence will not only mitigate the unjust and disproportionate punishment Chelsea endured, but prevent the future abuse of whistleblowers at the hands of the government.”

To date, Demand Progress members have raised more than $50,000 for Manning’s legal fees and Welcome Home Fund (which is still accepting donations via GoFundMe), along with a record of activism stretching back to the organization’s founding.

Highlights of Demand Progress’s activism on behalf of Chelsea Manning:

January 2017 – During the final days of the Obama administration, Demand Progress members helped push a White House petition calling for clemency and time-served for Manning past the 100,000 signature mark obligating the administration to officially respond, shortly before President Obama announced Manning’s clemency.

August 2016 – Demand Progress delivered 115,000 signatures to the Secretary of the Army in opposition to the solitary confinement of Manning.

August 2015 – Demand Progress members generated 22,000 signatures on a petition for the U.S. government to drop charges against Manning.

December 2010 – In one of Demand Progress’s first campaigns, the organization generated nearly 10,000 signatures on a petition asking to end the inhumane and torturous conditions Manning was enduring.