Chelsea Manning could be banned from speaking in Australia - report

US whistleblower Chelsea Manning could be banned from speaking in Australia. 

The Australian government is considering banning her from speaking at events because of her previous criminal convictions, according to local reports. 

It comes after New Zealand's National Party said she shouldn't be allowed in New Zealand. 

The former US army intelligence analyst, who served in the Iraq War, spent seven years behind bars in a military prison after passing around 750,000 classified military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks. 

Her sentence was commuted by former US President Barack Obama and she was released from prison in May 2017. In prison she attempted suicide twice and also went on a hunger strike.

Ms Manning is scheduled to speak at the Sydney Opera House on Sunday night, as well as in Melbourne and Brisbane, as part of the Antidote festival. 

But Section 501 of the Australian Migration Act gives the Immigration Minister, recently appointed David Coleman, the power to refuse or cancel visas, based on the grounds he "suspects that the person does not pass the character test" or is "satisfied that the refusal or cancellation is in the national interest".  

A spokesperson for the department of home affairs, which oversees immigration to Australia, told the Guardian it would not comment on individual cases, but underlined that all non-citizens coming to Australia must meet the requirements of the Migration Act. 

Suzil Jamil, director of Think Inc - the Australian organiser of Manning's speaking tour - has been lobbying the minister to support Ms Manning's speaking events, according to the Guardian. 

Australia has, in the past, blocked visas for high-profile people with criminal records such as rapper Snoop Dogg and singer Chris Brown, and has denied visas based on character grounds for the likes of boxer Floyd Mayweather and British holocaust denier David Irving. 

Manning is scheduled to speak in New Zealand after her Australian address, but the National Party has called for her to be blacklisted because of her previous convictions. 

"Chelsea Manning has been convicted offshore and so ordinary rules should apply and they mean that she isn't allowed entry into New Zealand," National leader Simon Bridges told Newshub this week. 

Ms Manning is due to speak about her time in prison, privacy, transgender issues and WikiLeaks at Auckland's Q Theatre on September 8 and at Wellington's Embassy Theatre on September 9.

She will need special direction from the Minister of Immigration, Associate Minister of Immigration or a senior Immigration NZ official to be allowed in the country. 

Think Inc said Ms Manning's visa application is currently sitting with Immigration NZ.