Chelsea Manning denied entry to Australia
Human rights organisations have criticised the Australian government for not approving a visa application in time for Chelsea Manning to speak at a series of events in the country.
Manning will instead appear via videolink from New Zealand at the scheduled talks, which are being hosted from September 7 and September 11 by events organiser Think Inc.
The former US soldier was imprisoned for seven year for leaking thousands of classified US military documents back in 2010.
She was released in in January 2017, after her original sentence of 35 years was cut short by the then president Barack Obama
Multiple human rights groups have hit-out at the Australian government for not approving Manning’s visa application, accusing it of restricting freedom of speech.
Claire Mallinson, Amnesty International Australia’s national director, said: “By failing to approve a visa for Chelsea Manning, our government has silenced an important voice on human rights and in doing so sends a message to the people of Australia, and to the international community, that this new Australian government places little value on freedom of speech.”
Manning will speak at the Think Inc events about her work as a whistleblower, as well as an LGBT+ rights advocate and a human rights activist.
Hugh de Kretser, executive director of the Human Rights Law Centre, said: “As a democracy we should be encouraging not banning contributions from people like Chelsea Manning.
“This is yet another example highlighting the need for far stronger checks and balances over the Minister’s powers under migration laws.”
Paul Oosting, national director of left-wing lobby group Getup!, said the decision amounted to “denying Australians the opportunity to engage in conversation with a renowned human rights whistleblower.”
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