Chelsea Manning cleared to visit New Zealand

Manning was an intelligence analyst for the US Army when she leaked military and diplomatic documents to the

Manning was an intelligence analyst for the US Army when she leaked military and diplomatic documents to the

Tour organiser Suzi Jamil said Manning had received a notice from the Australian government informing her Canberra was considering cancelling her visa. "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", Jamil told AFP.

The former US Army soldier spent seven years behind bars for sending almost 750,000 military and diplomatic documents containing classified information about American diplomats and the military to WikiLeaks.

"Ms. Manning offers formidable ideas and an insightful perspective which we are hoping to bring to the forefront of Australian dialogue", Think Inc.

"We are of the view that she poses no threat to members of the Australian community", a spokeswoman for Think Inc. said on Thursday. The reasons a person might fail the character test include a criminal record or a determination they might a risk to the community, according to the department.

She served almost seven years of a 35-year sentence in prison for her disclosure.

Woodhouse said if Manning's application had come across his desk as immigration minister he would have declined it.

Manning was released from prison in May 2017 after being sentenced in 2013 in violation of the US Espionage Act for disclosing classified government documents to WikiLeaks.

Free Speech Coalition spokesperson Chris Trotter said a number of convicted criminals have been allowed to speak in New Zealand including the "Wolf of Wall Street" Jordan Belfort, who gave motivational business talks here despite being convicted of fraud and money laundering.

"Australians have indicated their strong interest in hearing what Ms Manning has to say", Senator Di Natale wrote.

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However, Immigration New Zealand confirmed on Friday morning it had given Manning special dispensation to apply for a visa - a requirement for those who have served lengthy prison terms.

The group called on Manning's supporters to lobby new Immigration Minister David Coleman to grant her entry.

She is due to speak in the Australian city of Melbourne on Sept. 7, the New Zealand city of Auckland on Sept. 8, the New Zealand capital Wellington on Sept. 9 and the Australian city of Brisbane on Sept. 11.

Australia has signaled it is preparing to ban US whistleblower Chelsea Manning from entering the country ahead of a scheduled speaking tour, the organizer of the engagements said.

Manning was convicted for leaking US government secrets and would not normally qualify for entry into New Zealand under its good character provisions.

"[It] was also noted that her sentence was commuted by President Obama in January 2017", Stuart said.

Immigration New Zealand has confirmed a special direction had been granted to Manning, meaning she could now apply for a specific objective work visa to enter New Zealand for the events in Auckland on September 8 and Wellington on September 9.

Australia, where the tour was to start Sunday, has similar good-character rules.

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