Chelsea Manning faces Australia entry ban | News | DW | 30.08.2018
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Chelsea Manning faces Australia entry ban

Chelsea Manning, who was convicted for leaking documents while in the US army, had been due to start a speaking tour. She can appeal the decision.

United States whistleblower Chelsea Manning will not be allowed to enter Australia for a speaking tour that was scheduled to start Sunday, her tour organizer said on Thursday.

Manning's PR representative Think Inc. said it had received a notice of intention from the government to deny Manning entry.

"We are very disappointed to learn that the department of home affairs has taken this approach and will be vigorously advocating for her ability to enter Australia,"  Think Inc.'s Suzi Jamil told French news agency AFP. 

Read more: Whistleblower protection mechanisms to become EU law

"Ms Manning has many formidable ideas and an insightful perspective which we are hoping to bring to the forefront of Australian dialogue."

Australia's Department of Home Affairs said that while it does not comment on individual cases, all non-citizens entering Australia have to meet the character requirements in the Migration Act.

Read more: Can whistleblowers be recognized as refugees?

Reasons a person might fail the character test include a criminal record or if they are deemed to pose a risk to the community, according to the department.

Freshly minted Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the decision was for David Coleman, who was sworn in as immigration minister on Tuesday.

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Think Inc is calling on Manning's supporters to lobby Coleman to allow her into the country. Manning is able to appeal, but past precedent suggests the decision has already been made.

Jamil said Think Inc would "pursue all legal avenues to the minister and hope he will decide to allow the Australian public to hear about vital issues around data privacy, artificial intelligence and transgender rights."

Read more: Opinion: Spying made easy

Following three planned events in Australia, which include a talk at the Sydney Opera House, Manning is scheduled to travel to New Zealand, where the center-right opposition National Party has also called for her to be denied entry.

Manning was an intelligence analyst for the US army when she leaked military and diplomatic documents to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. She received a 35-year sentence for the crime, but served only seven before then-President Barack Obama granted her clemency in 2017.

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law/rt (AP, Reuters)

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