Chelsea Manning, the former US soldier who leaked a huge trove of classified documents to WikiLeaks in 2010, says she has been barred from Canada because immigration officials consider her offence equal to “treason.”
Manning shared a photo of an immigration report on her Twitter profile Monday that explained why she had been found inadmissible.
According to the document, Manning was trying to enter the country on Sept. 22 at a border crossing in St-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec. She was not allowed entry because her actions, if committed in Canada, “would equate to an indictable offence, namely Treason.”
In 2013, Manning was convicted in a US military court of 19 charges, including six counts of espionage, and sentenced to 35 years in prison. But she was found not guilty of “aiding the enemy,” the most serious charge she faced and which would have amounted to treason had she been convicted.
Canada’s own laws on treason include a ban on unlawful sharing of military documents, but only with “an agent of a state other than Canada.” Canada’s immigration department did not immediately respond to questions about the rationale for barring Manning.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters Monday that he wouldn’t comment “on any specific case.”
BuzzFeed News has reached out to Manning for comment. On Twitter, she said she will challenge the Canadian decision.
Manning, who is considered a whistleblower by Amnesty International and other rights groups, served seven years of her 35-year sentence in military prison. President Obama commuted her sentence in one of the final acts of his administration, and she released from custody in May.