Whistleblower Chelsea Manning to be 'banned' from entering Australia

Anyone wishing to enter Australia must pass a good character test. Guidelines set out by the Department of Home Affairs state that anyone with a "substantial criminal record" will not be granted entry, as well as those who have been convicted of child sex offences, been part of an organised crime gang or anyone who has escaped from an immigration detention centre, for example.

Manning was arrested in 2010 and charged with 22 offences including "aiding the enemy" (which can carry a death sentence) for leaking classified U.S. government documents to WikiLeaks.

Earlier this month Manning spoke with The Project in Australia about her upcoming tour and her choice to remain in the public eye after her release from prison.

Think Inc. said received a notice of intention from the government to deny Manning entry.

Manning is scheduled to travel to New Zealand after finishing her three events in Australia but the center-right opposition National Party has also called for her to be denied entry.

In 2017, then-president Barack Obama commuted almost the entirety of the remainder Manning's sentence, but did not pardon her. "I think anything less than that is undermining democracy", he said.

Section 501 of the Migration Act gives the minister the power to refuse visas on "character grounds".

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Labor frontbencher Penny Wong said it was "up to the government to explain why they are doing this".

Think Inc has asked its supporters to lobby the immigration minister. "We are seeking letters of support to send to the minister for Immigration in order for him to reconsider his decision".

Ms Manning, a former soldier, was sentenced to 35 years behind bars for sending hundreds of thousands of classified military documents to WikiLeaks while working in Iraq.

The prosecution argued that within two weeks of her first deployment, Ms Manning was downloading material from the classified system for onforwarding to WikiLeaks.

But lobby group the Free Speech Coalition swiftly condemned the calls to bar Ms Manning. "Nelson Mandela was allowed entrance in 1995", spokesman Chris Trotter said.

Ms Manning is not, and never has been, a whistleblower.

A spokeswoman for the department of home affairs - which oversees immigration - said it would not comment on individual cases, but said all non-citizens entering Australia must meet the character requirements of the Migration Act.

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