Australian Government Prepares To Bar Chelsea Manning From Entering The Country

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The Australian Broadcasting Corp. has reported that Think Inc., the Australian organizer of Manning's speaking tour, has written to supporters urging them to "support Chelsea's entry into Australia".

S501 pertains to the refusal of a visa on "character grounds", and includes provisions for things like if applicant holds a "substantial" criminal record; if they are considered (with or without a conviction) to have been involved in war crimes or "a crime that is otherwise of serious global concern"; if they are considered likely to vilify a section of the Australian community; or if they are likely to cause "discord" in a section of the Australian community, among other things.

Ms Manning is also planning to speak in New Zealand, where the centre-right National Party is lobbying for her visa to be cancelled.

HuffPost has reached out to the Australian Department of Home Affairs for comment.

Australian law allows the immigration minister to deny anyone a visa if they do not pass a character test, a broad criteria that affords the government sweeping powers.

Manning is a former U.S. army intelligence analyst who leaked classified military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks. Think Inc has already collected support letters from both individuals and organizations and applied to Immigration Minister David Coleman and Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton to step up for the whistleblower.

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

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Ms Manning was granted clemency by former United States president Barack Obama previous year.

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

Chelsea Manning's New Zealand visit is causing a stir.

"I realised everything I feared in 2010 about authoritarianism, about the rise of nationalist movements across the world, and the sprawling and more entrenched police and intelligence and military apparatus that we have all over the world now, is now a daily reality for millions of people", she said.

"Those provisions are really created to be utilised in cases where there is a risk that a person may commit offences, is a risk to the Australian community, no one would seriously suggest that's the case here". If the decision goes against Manning, she can have it reviewed by the immigration minister.

Manning was denied a visa to Canada last year but was granted a temporary permit in May this year for a series of public talks.

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