POLITICS

Chelsea Manning Says She Has Been Denied Entry To Canada

She says she will challenge the decision.

09/25/2017 13:41 EDT | Updated 09/26/2017 11:37 EDT
Steven Senne/CP via AP
Chelsea Manning addresses an audience in Nantucket, Mass. on Sept. 17, 2017.

Chelsea Manning says she has been "permanently banned" from entering Canada because of her criminal record.

Manning, a former U.S. Army intelligence analyst, tweeted about the issue Monday. She was released from a military prison in May after serving seven years for leaking thousands of classified military documents.

Manning shared a photo of what appears to be a letter from Canadian immigration officials. A spokesperson for Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen told HuffPost Canada by email he would not comment on the case, citing privacy laws.

The document shows Manning, 29, was denied entry to Canada Friday at the border crossing in St-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Que.

The report cites a provision from the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act on "serious criminality," stating a person is inadmissible if they have been convicted of an offence outside of Canada that, if committed in this country, would be "punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years."

The document states Manning's violation of the United States Espionage Act would equate to treason in Canada, punishable with a "maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment."

Manning tweeted she would challenge the denial of entry at a future admissibility hearing.

Hursh Jaswal, a special assistant to the immigration minister, told HuffPost that each case put forward to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is unique and evaluated on its merits.

"All applicants can expect impartial, professional treatment and clear, accountable decision-making," Jaswal said.

At a press conference in Toronto Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked if he thought it was appropriate that Manning, who has been called a whistleblower, could be blocked from entering Canada.

"I'm not going to comment on any specific case and I look forward to seeing more details about this situation," Trudeau said.

Goodale not going to 'interfere'


Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale later suggested to reporters he would not second-guess the decision of border officers.

"When a Canada Border Services officer has exercised appropriately within their jurisdiction the judgment that they are called upon to make, I don't interfere in that process in any kind of a light or cavalier manner," Goodale said.

NDP MP Niki Ashton, who is also running for her party's leadership, tweeted that it was "unacceptable" Manning was unable to enter Canada.

"The government must fix this and allow her into our country," Ashton said.

The transgender activist, previously known as Bradley Manning, was convicted in 2013 of sharing a trove of documents to WikiLeaks, citing the public's right to know about U.S. foreign policy.

Though she was sentenced to 35 years in a military prison, former U.S. president Barack Obama commuted her sentence in the last days of his presidency.

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With files from The Canadian Press