Chelsea Manning calls the travel ban a political decision & # 039;

<pre><pre>Chelsea Manning calls the travel ban a political decision & # 039;

The one denounced by the United States, Chelsea Manning, described as politically motivated the decision of the Australian government to delay their visa to enter the country.

The former soldier, who served seven years in prison for leaking military documents and classified diplomats, will make his entire Australian speaking tour through a video link after being blocked from his arrival for "character" reasons.

Ms. Manning questioned how far-right speakers such as Milo Yiannopoulos and Lauren Southern could be allowed to enter Australia when she could not.

"Obviously it is a selective process to make political decisions and they seem to think it is acceptable to allow right-wing extremists … and then to persecute people for having legitimate political views," said Ms. Manning over the telephone. Thursday.

"I have repeatedly criticized Australia's immigration policy prior to this political decision, so it should not be surprising that there is a difference in the way the policy is applied to someone who has unconditional support for the establishment."

Chelsea Manning in New York City.

Getty

The Department of the Interior has yet to make a decision on Ms. Manning's visa, but the delay has not allowed her enough time for her to speak in person on Friday in Melbourne and Brisbane next week.

The department has said repeatedly that it does not comment on individual cases, but all noncitizens entering Australia must comply with the character requirements set forth in Section 501 of the Migration Law, where a visa can be rejected if a person does not. approves the "character test".

The transgender activist received a work visa to visit New Zealand, where she will speak in Wellington and Auckland this weekend.

She has previously visited Germany, Sweden, Italy and Denmark after receiving clemency from her sentence of 35 years in prison in 2017 by then President Barack Obama.

Despite the setback, Ms. Manning said she would not be dissuaded from visiting Australia in the future as she wants to experience the country, not just for work reasons.

Ms. Manning's legal team has also issued a statement on her behalf, condemning the lack of action on the visa application.

"The efforts of the Australian government to prevent Chelsea from attending its conference tour are shameful and chilling for Australians' freedom of expression rights," the statement said.

"Through its actions, the Australian government is now alone in the world in trying to deny its citizens the opportunity to interact in a similar way with Chelsea in the dialogue on matters of crucial interest to the public."

A Change.org petition asking Ms. Manning to be allowed to enter Australia has received more than 20,000 signatures.