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WikiLeaks | Whistleblower Chelsea Manning banned from Canada



(OTTAWA) Notorious whistleblower Chelsea Manning has been barred from Canada by the Immigration and Refugee Board due to her previous convictions in the United States.

Mme Manning became an internationally known figure when the former US intelligence analyst leaked hundreds of thousands of classified documents from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan to WikiLeaks in 2010.

She was sentenced to 35 years in prison on several counts, including espionage and theft, but her sentence was later commuted by former US President Barack Obama.

Mme Manning was turned away from the Canadian border in 2017 when she attempted to enter the country as a visitor, due to her criminal record.

In an April 8 decision, the Immigration and Refugee Board determined that if Manning committed the same offense in Canada, she would face a prison sentence of more than 10 years.

For this reason, the court declared her inadmissible to Canada.

During a hearing in October 2021, she asserted that her actions were necessary due to the urgent and imminent threat to the lives of Afghan and Iraqi civilians and detainees.

Mme Manning attended the hearing by videoconference from his home in the United States.

By disclosing the documents, Manning said she sought to raise awareness of the ongoing illegal and abusive actions of the United States and its allies in the context of the “war on terrorism”, including the disproportionate killing of civilians.

Counsel rejected his argument because Manning also leaked diplomatic cables that laid out how the United States was defending its war on terror to other nations.

In its ruling, the panel said it could not conclude, based on the available evidence, that there was a clear and imminent peril that needed to be avoided.

The lawyers of Manning, Joshua Blum and Lex Gill say the decision is “characterised by legal errors” and that they intend to seek judicial review.

They also intend to pursue the constitutional challenge in Federal Court of a section of the Criminal Code relating to unauthorized computer use.

If Mme Had Manning disclosed the documents to Canada, she might have been convicted of the offense that prohibits fraudulently obtaining computer data.

His lawyers argue that the provision is “exaggerated and criminalizes whistleblowing.”

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