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US transgender trooper to remain on active duty after prison term

IANS  |  Washington 

Chelsea Manning, the transgender US soldier convicted of espionage for leaking national security secrets, will remain an active-duty following her release from a military prison, according to the Army.

Manning, whose sentence was commuted by former President Barack Obama, will not be paid after her May 17 release from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, but will be eligible for healthcare benefits and have access to commissaries and military exchanges, the Army told USA Today on Sunday.

Manning entered prison as a man named Bradley.

She later changed her name, identified as a woman and received hormone treatment while incarcerated.

While Manning's court-martial conviction remains under appeal, she will remain a private in the Army, said Army spokesman Dave Foster.

"Private Manning is statutorily entitled to medical care while on excess leave in an active duty status, pending final appellate review," Foster told USA Today on Sunday.

However, the Army refused to disclose the other terms of Manning's release, six years before her eligibility for parole, citing privacy concerns.

She was sentenced to 35 years for releasing hundreds of thousands of secret documents to WikiLeaks. Manning appeared at court martial in the uniform of an enlisted man.

Like all soldiers, Manning will be assigned to an Army post but it is unclear where and to whom she will report.

While in prison, Manning had received hormone treatment and care for gender dysphoria.

She had also been informed that she was eligible for sex reassignment surgery to be paid for by the government.

However, if the appeal of her conviction is denied, she could be dishonourably discharged, which mandates a loss of benefits, including health care.

Manning, who has a Twitter account managed by her supporters, said she was looking forward to her release, reports the USA Today.

"Celebrating a new hope, and a return of the sun."

--IANS

ksk/vt

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, May 15 2017. 13:48 IST
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