Ottawa wanted US whistleblower Chelsea Manning to come to Canada so she could be deported in person

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The IRB adjudicator rejected the government’s motion, saying Parliament’s intention was simply that people who are not authorized to be in Canada should not be here

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The Government of Canada has asked American whistleblower Chelsea Manning to travel to Canada so that border officials can physically remove her from Canada.

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The bizarre request was made by government attorneys last week ahead of an immigration hearing scheduled for Thursday for the former U.S. soldier who leaked thousands of U.S. documents that have changed the public’s perspective on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The hearing to determine whether Manning is eligible to visit Canada will be held by video conference.

Lawyers on behalf of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness have asked the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) to postpone the hearing until Manning is in Canada for it, instead than participating by video link from their home in the United States.

The government said that if she was not physically in the country, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) would not be able to return her, if the government wins its case.

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“The purpose of a removal order is to force a person found to be inadmissible to leave Canada. If the (IRB) issued a removal order against a person who does not appear for their hearing from a location in Canada, “the government told the IRB in a written argument, it would be” impossible for the CBSA to fill the order ”.

Manning’s lawyers opposed the request.

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In a ruling on Monday, IRB adjudicator Marisa Musto rejected the government’s motion, saying Parliament’s intention was simply that people who are not allowed to be in Canada not be here.

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If Manning is ruled out of order after the hearing, the impact on Manning would be the same no matter where she is in the world, Musto said.

“If she was physically in Canada when the order was made, the requirement would be that she leave Canada. Given that it is already outside of Canada, a fact which is not questioned, we can say that the “objective” of (immigration laws)… would be, de facto, achieved ” , Musto said in his ruling.

“Admissibility procedures not only remove inadmissible persons from Canadian territory, but also prevent them from entering. “

Musto said there had already been numerous admissibility hearings for people outside of Canada that the government had not opposed.

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“This inconsistency in the minister’s position is disconcerting.

Manning, a 33-year-old US citizen, was a military intelligence analyst deployed to Iraq in 2009 who became one of America’s best-known whistleblowers after leaking a vast mine of documents via Wikileaks to major news agencies of the whole world.

The documents revealed unreported civilian deaths, complicity in torture, significant human rights violations, and evidence contradicting the U.S. government’s public versions of its wartime actions.

Manning was arrested and convicted under the US Espionage Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and sentenced to 35 years in prison, the longest sentence ever in the United States for flight.

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In 2017, after seven years in prison, Manning’s sentence was commuted by US President Barack Obama.

Shortly after her release, Manning attempted to come to Canada but was arrested at the border. She was found inadmissible by the CBSA because she was convicted of a serious criminal offense outside of Canada.

A hearing on his admissibility is scheduled for two days, but a decision is not expected to be rendered immediately afterwards. Written submissions are expected from Manning and the government after oral argument.

On September 17, Manning said she had tested positive for COVID-19 despite having been fully vaccinated.

“I will be quarantined for the rest of the month – my symptoms are very mild thanks to being completely vaxxed in April,” she said on Twitter.

On October 1, Manning tweeted: “out of quarantine and feeling great.”

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