Whistleblower Reality Winner is out of jail

Whistleblower Reality Winner is out of jail

Winner was sentenced to 5 years and 3 months for leaking confidential information about Russian interference in the US elections to the press

(photo: Shay Horse / NurPhoto via Getty Images) The whistleblower and former US intelligence contractor Reality Leigh Winner, jailed for disclosing confidential information, is released from prison and will serve the last months of her sentence in a reintegration facility. The announcement was made by her lawyer, Alison Griinter, who broke the news on Twitter.

Winner is now in custody at the San Antonio Residential reentry management office, the office that oversees reintegration programs in the community of incarcerated people. However, the woman cannot yet make statements or appear in public. Its final release date is scheduled for November 23, 2021.

“I am thrilled to announce that Reality Winner has been released from prison. She is still in custody in the residential reintegration process, but we are relieved and hopeful, ”Griinter tweeted. "Reality about her her family asked for privacy during the transition process as they work to heal the trauma of incarceration and rebuild the lost years. Her release is not a product of pardon or the compassionate release process, but rather of the time gained from exemplary behavior in detention. ”

Winner, then 26, was sentenced to five years in 2018 and three months in prison for "removing confidential materials from a government facility and mailing them to a media outlet." Specifically, the woman was accused of providing The Intercept with confidential documents from the National Security Agency (NSA) on Russian interference in the 2016 US elections.

Winner's arrest dates back to June 3, 2017, two days before The Intercept published its article. The woman was charged under the Espionage Act, an American law created in 1918 that became Washington's weapon of choice for attacking whistleblowers and against which it is very difficult to defend oneself, unable to claim to have disclosed information in the public interest.

This law has been used several times, especially during the Obama administration, and led to the 35-year prison sentence of Chelsea Manning. Winner instead pleaded guilty in 2018 and pledged the sentence. She was the first whistleblower convicted during the Trump administration.

In an email to The Verge, Griinter wrote that Winner would continue to seek pardon. Meanwhile, a documentary on her case, United States vs. Reality Winner, was presented in spring at the South by Southwest Texas film festival.

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