Ban 'felon' Chelsea Manning from New Zealand, urge opposition MPs
Chelsea Manning Ban 'felon' Chelsea Manning from New Zealand, urge opposition MPs
National party calls for whistleblower to be blocked from entering the country on a speaking tour because of her convictions
The New Zealand opposition has called for US whistleblower Chelsea Manning to be banned from visiting the country to give a series of talks in September.
Manning was released from prison in May 2017 after being sentenced in 2013 in violation of the US Espionage Act for disclosing classified government documents to WikiLeaks.
She requires a special direction visa to visit New Zealand, and is subject to character provisions in section 15 of the Immigration Act 2009.Chelsea Manning on the far right, state surveillance and their lessons for Australia Read more
Opposition immigration spokesperson Michael Woodhouse said the government should decline Manning a special direction visa because of her history of criminal convictions.
âThis is a convicted felon, sentenced to 35 years in jail, coming in here for money,â Woodhouse told Stuff.
âThe discretion is not there to apply to a person who expresses virtually no remorse for her offending ... Thereâs no rehabilitation, no remorse, the very purpose of her visit to come and talk about her crimes.â
A spokesperson for Immigration New Zealand said âan appropriately delegated INZ staff member will look at the representations in the first instanceâ, and they had received an application from Manningâs representatives for a visa.
Manning tweeted last year that she was banned from entering Canada due to her criminal convictions. However, she managed to secure a Canadian visa in May this year.
Greens MP and human rights lawyer Golriz Ghahraman said Manning posed no threat to New Zealand and called Nationalâs stance on Manning âcallousâ
âContinuing to condemn Manning for exposing war crimes, including against children and journalists in Iraq and Afghanistan, deliberately shifts the conversation away from accountability of those responsible, effect ively aligning us with the oppressor in a situation of injustice,â said Gharaman.
âNationalâs call to shun Manning is particularly callous, given the charges laid against her were all about speaking out against serious misuse of power and she has already served a lengthy sentence of imprisonment, at times in solitary confinement ... Chelsea Manning clearly poses no viable risk to New Zealand.â
Manning has never apologized or expressed regret for leaking the documents to WikiLeaks, and said she did so because the difficulties of dealing with mainstream outlets left her no other option.
âThere was literally no [other] way I couldâve done it,â she said. âI make a lot of mistakes but that doesnât mean I regret those mistakes, because those are learning experiences as well.â
Manningâs prison sentence was cut short and she was released last year after Barack Obama intervened.
This is the second time in a month that the issue of fre e speech has made news in New Zealand. Auckland mayor Phil Goff banned far-right Canadian speakers Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern from speaking in any council buildings, and Ardern described New Zealand as âhostile to their viewsâ, though many Kiwis said the duo had a right to speak and bought tickets to their events.Topics
- Chelsea Manning
- New Zealand
- Asia Pacific
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