US leaker Chelsea Manning to be barred from Australia


CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Convicted classified document leaker Chelsea Manning will not be allowed to enter Australia for a speaking tour scheduled to start Sunday, her event organizer said on today.

Think Inc. said it had received on Wednesday a notice of intention from the government to deny Manning entry. The group is calling on her supporters to lobby new Immigration Minister David Coleman to allow her into Australia. While she can appeal, past precedent suggests the decision has already been made.

Think Inc. said it had given the government more than 10 letters of support from individuals and organizations who support Manning's entry to Australia.

"Ms. Manning offers formidable ideas and an insightful perspective which we are hoping to bring to the forefront of Australian dialogue," Think Inc. Director Suzi Jamil said in a statement.

Manning was an intelligence analyst for the U.S. Army when she leaked military and diplomatic documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. She served seven years of a 35-year sentence before then-President Barack Obama granted her clemency in 2017.

The transgender activist who recently lost a long-shot bid for a U.S. Senate seat in Maryland is scheduled to speak at the Sydney Opera House on Sunday and has subsequent events in Australia and New Zealand.

The Department of Home Affairs said while it does not comment on individual cases, all non-citizens entering Australia must meet character requirements set out in the Migration Act. 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.

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

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