Chelsea Manning, the former U.S. intelligence analyst convicted for leaking thousands of classified documents, says Canada’s citizenship and immigration minister won’t let her enter the country.
On Monday morning, Manning tweeted an image of a document appearing to show a decision taken on her application to enter Canada after crossing into Quebec on Sept. 22.
“I hereby report that [Chelsea Manning] … is a person who is a foreign national who has not been authorized to enter Canada,” the document reads.
The name of the individual who sent the memo to Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, as well as the document and application numbers were blacked out prior to posting on social media.
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The reasoning behind the decision is based on grounds of Manning “having been convicted of an offence outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an offence … punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years,” the document reads.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked about the decision while taking questions from journalists in Toronto, about an hour after Manning posted her tweet.
“I’m not going to comment on any specific case and I look forward to seeing more details about this situation,” Trudeau said.
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Later Monday, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said that while he won’t comment on Manning’s case specifically, he has faith in the Canada Border Services Agency officers tasked with making such decisions.
“When a person presents themselves to cross the border, the Canada Border Services officers have the discretion to make the decision based very clearly on Canadian law,” he told reporters outside the House of Commons.
“One of the criteria they use to make their determination is previous instances of criminality.”
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Global News asked Hussen’s office to elaborate on the decision, but didn’t get an immediate response.
Manning is a 29-year-old transgender woman who was known as Bradley Manning when she was convicted in 2013 of leaking the trove of classified material.
The letter says that because she was convicted of offences that are equivalent to treason in Canada, she’s inadmissible to this country.
In a subsequent tweet, Manning said she’ll appeal the decision.
Goodale could, feasibly, use his ministerial discretion to allow Manning into the country in spite of her criminal past, but he said no one has made any such request and it is not his intention to intervene.
“When a Canada Border Services officer has exercised appropriately within their jurisdiction the judgement they are called upon to make, I don’t interfere in that process in a kind of a light or cavalier manner,” he said.
Manning was arrested in 2010 and convicted by court-martial in 2013 of espionage, theft and computer fraud after illegally disclosing classified government information. She was acquitted of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy.
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She was released from a U.S. military prison in May, seven years after being arrested for passing the more than 700,000 secret documents, videos, diplomatic cables and battlefield accounts to WikiLeaks.
It was, and remains, the largest breach of classified information in U.S. history.
In one of his final acts as president, Barack Obama in January granted Manning clemency.
One day prior to her release, the U.S. Army said Manning would remain on active duty in a special, unpaid status legally entitling her to military medical care, along with commissary privileges.
-With a file from The Associated Press and Reuters
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