Pvt Chelsea Manning, the transgender soldier convicted of giving classified government materials to WikiLeaks, was released from a Kansas military prison on Wednesday after serving seven years of her 35-year sentence.
United States President Barack Obama granted 29-year-old Manning clemency in his final days in office in January.
A few hours after her release, Manning posted a photo that showed her in a pair of new black Converse sneakers with the caption: ‘First steps of freedom!!’
Manning’s lawyer told the BBC that her client was excited to leave prison but likely ‘anxious’.
“She’s ready to finally be able to live as the woman that she is,” Nancy Hollander said.
“She is looking forward to eating pizza, swimming, playing PlayStation and meeting the many friends who have supported her over the years but who were never allowed to visit in person,” Manning’s lawyer Chase Strangio told NBC News.
“Beyond that, she is waiting to experience life outside of prison before declaring any future plans. After so many years of government control over her body and gender, I know she is eager to grow her hair, express her gender and negotiate decisions on her own terms.”
Manning, who was known as Bradley Manning before transitioning in prison, was convicted in 2013 of 20 counts, including six Espionage Act violations, theft and computer fraud. She was acquitted of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy.