Chelsea Manning barred from entering Canada for offences 'similar to treason'

Our Foreign Staff
Chelsea Manning  tried to cross at the official border office at Lacolle, Quebec, on Friday - AFP

Chelsea Manning, a former American soldier jailed for leaking troves of classified information, said on Monday that she was banned from entering Canada due to criminal convictions in the United States.

Manning had tried to cross at the official border office at Lacolle, Quebec, on Friday.  On Monday, she posted a letter from Canadian immigration officials to her Twitter account that said she was not admitted because she was convicted of offences deemed equivalent to treason in Canada. 

"So, I guess Canada has permanently banned me? Denied entry b/c of convictions similar to "treason" offence," she wrote. 

The document said that Manning had committed a crime outside the country that "would equate to an indictable offence, namely treason" in Canada and which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment.

Committing a crime elsewhere that would carry a maximum sentence of at least 10 years in Canada is grounds for a person to be denied entry, the document said.

Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, declined to comment "on any specific case" at a news conference, and said he looked "forward to seeing more details about this situation."

Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale suggested on Monday he would think hard before overruling a border officer’s decision.

“No such request has been made to me with respect to that matter,” Mr Goodale said, according to the National Post.

Profile | Chelsea Manning

“And, when a Canada Border Services officer has exercised appropriately within their jurisdiction the judgment that they are called upon to make, I don’t interfere in that process in any kind of a light or cavalier manner.”

Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2013 for leaking more than 700,000 classified documents to WikiLeaks three years earlier, when she was known as Bradley.

She served seven years, and twice tried to take her own life last year alone, before then-president Barack Obama commuted her sentence just days before he left office in January.

Manning was released from Fort Leavenworth's all-male prison in May.

During her incarceration, Manning battled for - and won - the right to start hormone treatment. She now has cropped blonde hair and a decidedly feminine look.

 

 

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