Australia

Chelsea Manning ban: Rights groups accuse government of silencing 'important voice'

Advocacy groups have criticised a government decision to stop Chelsea Manning entering Australia. (AAP)

Chelsea Manning has been granted a visa to enter New Zealand and will speak at her remaining Australian events via video link

Human rights groups have blasted the government's decision to prevent convicted US whistleblower Chelsea Manning from entering Australia.

Ms Manning's remaining Australian talks will be streamed via video link following the transgender activist speaking from Los Angeles to a crowd in Sydney on Sunday.

Amnesty International is among seven groups to condemn the government for sending a "chilling message" not to approve a visa for the former soldier on character grounds.

An online petition calling for Ms Manning to be allowed into Australia is closing in on 20,000 signatures.

"By failing to approve a visa for Chelsea Manning, our government has silenced an important voice on human rights," Amnesty International Australia director Claire Mallinson said.

Getup national director Paul Oosting said Ms Manning would have "more chance of getting into the country if she was an au pair for one of Peter Dutton's mates".

Ms Manning's tour organisers have confirmed she had received a New Zealand work visa and would be in person to speak in Wellington and Auckland this weekend.

0:00

Think Inc said the Department of Home Affairs are yet to make a decision on Ms Manning's visa application and her talks in Melbourne and Brisbane will be beamed in from New Zealand.

They said last week it had received a notice of intention to deny her entry under Section 501 of the Australian Migration Act, which states a visa may be cancelled if a person does not pass the "character test".

Ms Manning served seven years of her 35-year prison sentence for leaking more than 700,000 classified military and diplomatic documents before being granted clemency by then-president Barack Obama in 2017.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale wrote a letter to Immigration Minister David Coleman and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton appealing for an immediate decision on the visa application.

The Department of Home Affairs has repeatedly said it does not comment on individual cases, but all non-citizens entering Australia must meet character requirements set out in the Migration Act.

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch