(WELLINGTON, New Zealand) – The New Zealand authorities said Friday that the convicted secret police Chelsea Manning could enter the country for a lecture tour one day after the organizers said they could not enter Australia.
Manning was convicted and sentenced to 35 years in prison for revealing secrets to the US government and would not normally be eligible for entry into New Zealand.
But Steve Stuart, managing director of Immigration New Zealand, said maning has received a "special instruction". "Allow her to apply for a work visa for scheduled lectures in Auckland and Wellington next month."
Stuart said that the agency found that Manning's sentence in 201
New Zealand's Conservative opposition National Party had called on the government to ban Mannin, their release would not improve New Zealand's relationship with the US
Australia has similar rules for good characters like New Zealand. Manning's tour was due to begin on Sunday in Sydney, but Thursday, organizer Think Inc. said he had received a letter of intent from the Australian government to deny Manning entry.
The group urged its supporters to initiate new immigration Minister David Coleman to allow them in Australia. While Manning can appeal, the earlier case suggests that the decision has already been made.
Think Inc. said there had been letters of support from individuals and organizations supporting Manning's entry into Australia.
"Ms. Manning offers impressive ideas and an insightful perspective that we want to bring to the Australian Dialogue," said Think Inc.'s director, Suzi Jamil.
Manning, 30, confirmed that more than 700,000 documents of the military and foreign ministry were lost to anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks in 2010. When Bradley Manning was known at the time of her arrest, she arrived as a transgender after her 2013 court-martial. Recently, she lost a Democratic primary in a long-shot bid for a US Senate seat in Maryland
Under the rules of good character, New Zealand denied access to people sentenced to at least five years in prison for their lives or who has been sentenced to 12 months or more in prison at any one time in the last 10 years.
Associated Press reporter Rod McGuirk of Canberra, Australia contributed to this report.