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Australia may ban Chelsea Manning because of ‘character’ requirement

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chelsea manning
Australia
is questioning the character of Wikileaks whistle blower and
activist Chelsea Manning.

Sean
Gallup/Getty Images


  • The Australian government is preparing to ban
    whistleblower and activist Chelsea Manning because she does not
    meet the country’s “character requirement.” 
  • The former soldier spent seven years in prison for
    releasing a trove of classified military documents to
    Wikileaks. 
  • Manning had previously been denied entry to Canada in
    2017 because of her criminal record. 

The Australian government is preparing to ban whistleblower and
activist Chelsea Manning because she does not meet the country’s
“character requirement.” 

The former soldier spent seven years in prison, including 11
months in solitary confinement, for leaking a trove of classified
military documents to Wikileaks which revealed information about
US operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

President Barack Obama commuted her sentence shortly before
leaving office, and she made a bid for Senate as a Democrat this
year. 

According to a reported letter
addressed to Manning from the Australian Home Affairs Department,
Manning applied for a temporary visa on August 8, and the federal
government was reviewing her candidacy. 

The letter specified that her visa application may be denied
under section 501 of the Australian Migration Act, which allows
the Minister to deny an applicant if they do not meet the
“character requirements.” 

“A person can fail the character test for a number of
reasons, including but not limited to where a non-citizen has a
substantial criminal record or where their conduct represents a
risk to the Australian community,” a spokesperson for the Home
Affairs Department told the
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
.

The 35-year-old, who now makes a living through speaking
engagements, had planned events at the Sydney Opera House, as
well as in Melbourne, Brisbane. She is also slated to speak in
two major cities in New Zealand, though several politicians have
called her a “felon
and are lobbying for her visa to be canceled. 

Think Inc., which has organized the Australian events, has
appealed for support to allow Manning to speak. 

“We are looking for support from relevant national bodies
or individuals, especially politicians who can support Chelsea’s
entry into Australia,” Think Inc’s director Suzi Jamil
wrote. 

Many have called for action to grant Manning a
visa. 

Richard Di Natale, the leader of the Australian Greens, wrote a
letter to government ministers urging them to grant Manning a
visa. 

“Australians have indicated their strong interest in hearing what
Manning has to say — her events in Australia are sold
out. To deny her opportunity to speak to our community is unfair
and unwarranted.” 

Some have called out Australia for allowing other
controversial figures, including Canadian far-right internet
personality Lauren Southern, and former Breitbart senior editor
Milo Yiannopoulos, to speak at major events.

Manning had previously been denied entry to Canada in 2017
because of her criminal record. 

In September, Manning was named a visiting
fellow at Harvard University, but the
university withdrew the title days later after pushback from
then-CIA director Mike Pompeo.

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