Chelsea Manning is banned from Canada because of her conviction for ‘treason’
Chelsea Manning has been banned from entering Canada.
The transgender whistleblower was released from prison in May of this year, after Barack Obama commuted her sentence as one of his last acts as president.
Having her sentenced commuted meant that Manning was not pardoned by Obama, so her convictions for espionage and theft remain on record.
She was acquitted of original charges of aiding the enemy.
Manning this week posted a copy of a letter she received, which stated that she was barred from entering Canada because the crime for which she was convicted is equivalent to treason – a crime that results in a sentence of over ten years.
She posted the letter in full on Twitter, before saying that she would challenge the decision.
The letter said that she is not authorised to enter Canada because there are reasonable grounds to believe she is a “permanent resident or a foreign national who is inadmissible on grounds of serious criminality”.
Manning had been seenking entry as a temporary visitor at St Bernard de Lacolle Point of Entry, where she stated that she had been convicted under the United States Espionage Act.
The letter added: “If committed in Canada this offence would equate to an indictable offence, namely Treason described under section 46(2)(B) of the Criminal Code of Canada.”
“So, i guess canada has permanently banned me ?” she said.
“@CitImmCanada denied entry b/c of convictions similar to ‘treason’ offense.”
She said that she would challenge the ruling and argued that the crimes for which she was convicted in the US were in fact not analogous to Canada’s treason laws.
Manning said: “Will be challenging denial of entry at a canadian ‘admissability hearing’ in the future (no date yet). The law cited by @CitImmCanada is *not* similiar at all [sic].”
While refusing to comment on the specific case because of privacy laws, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada told CBC News: “Our government is committed to ensuring that every case put forward to IRCC is evaluated based on its merits and in a fair manner.
“All applicants can expect impartial, professional treatment and clear, accountable decision-making.”
Manning was jailed in 2010 and had been facing a 35-year prison sentence before Obama used his executive power to drastically reduced the sentence.
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After her release, Manning shared a photograph on Instagram of her new look.
She had been denied the right to have gender reassignment surgery during her incarceration.
Following her release, Manning attended the New York Pride parade as a free woman.
She later posed for Vogue in a red swimsuit, teasing the feature with another Instagram post.
Manning was recently named visiting fellow at Harvard University, where she would speak about “LGBTQ identity” – but the fellowship was revoked following pressure from the CIA.