Mon. Nov 29th, 2021

The IRB judge rejected the government’s proposal, saying that Parliament’s intention was simply that people who are not allowed to be in Canada were not here

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The Canadian government asked American whistleblower Chelsea Manning to travel to Canada so that border agents could physically throw her out of Canada.

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The unequal request was made by state attorneys last week pending an immigration hearing set to begin Thursday for the former U.S. soldier, which leaked thousands of U.S. documents that changed public views on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The hearing on whether Manning is eligible to visit Canada will be held by videoconference.

Lawyers on behalf of the Secretary of State for Public Safety and Emergency Planning asked the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) to postpone the hearing until Manning is in Canada for it, rather than attend over a video link from her home in the United States.

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

“The purpose of a removal order is to force a person who proves to be insufficient to leave Canada. Should (IRB) place a removal order against a person not attending their hearing from anywhere in Canada, ”the government told the IRB in a written argument, it would be“ impractical for CBSA to enforce the order. ”

Manning’s lawyers objected to the request.

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

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If it turns out that Manning is not allowed after the hearing, the impact on Manning would be the same no matter where in the world she was, Musto said.

“If she was physically in Canada when the order was placed, the requirement would be that she leave Canada. “Given that she is already outside Canada, a fact that is not in doubt, it can be said that the ‘goal’ of (immigration laws) … would de facto be met,” Musto said in his decision.

“Treatment procedures not only have the effect of removing unacceptable people from Canadian territory, but also preventing them from entering.”

Musto said there had already been plenty of formality hearings for people outside of Canada that the government had no objection to.

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“This inconsistency in the minister’s position is confusing.”

Manning, a 33-year-old U.S. citizen, was a military intelligence analyst deployed to Iraq in 2009 who became one of the most notorious U.S. whistleblowers after leaking a large crowd of documents through Wikileaks to major news organizations around the world.

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

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

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

Shortly after her release, Manning attempted to reach Canada, but was stopped at the border. She was deemed inadmissible by the CBSA because she has been convicted of a serious criminal offense outside Canada.

A hearing on her formality is scheduled for two days, but a decision is not expected to be announced immediately after. Written submissions are expected from both Manning and the government following oral arguments.

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

“I will be in quarantine for the rest of the month – my symptoms are very mild thanks to the fact that they were completely grown in April,” she said on Twitter.

On October 1, Manning tweeted: “off quarantine and feeling good.”

• Email: ahumphreys@postmedia.com | Twitter:

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