Chelsea Manning and EFF Activism Director Rainey Reitman at EFF's 2017 Pioneer Awards. Photo: EFF
October 23, 2017, OTTAWA—Over 40 prominent civil society organizations, elected officials, university professors and professionals have sent letters in support of human rights activist Chelsea Manning, who was recently turned away at the Canadian border. The letters are united in their call to reverse the government’s decision to bar Ms. Manning from Canada, and were submitted by her legal counsel as part of a formal request for reconsideration to the Hon. Minister Ahmed Hussen on Friday morning.
Chelsea Manning is an internationally recognized human rights activist and whistleblower. She has received numerous awards for her work as a prominent advocate for civil liberties, government transparency, LGBTQ rights, and prisoners’ rights.
The letters represent a diverse range of voices and viewpoints in support of her entry into Canada. Many point to the valuable insights Chelsea can offer Canadians, and highlight that it would be inconsistent with Canadian values of inclusion, freedom of expression, and diversity to refuse her entry. Some emphasize the public interest value of her actions as a whistleblower, which revealed human rights violations and informed public debate surrounding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Others stress that she poses no threat to public safety, and note that Ms. Manning’s sentence for her whistleblowing activities was commuted by former United States President Barack Obama in January 2017.
Copies of the letters are available on request from the organizations and individuals below.
Letters were signed or sent by the following organizations:
Access Now, Amnesty International Canada, Amnistie Internationale Canada francophone, Association for Progressive Communications; British Columbia Civil Liberties Association; British Columbia Freedom of Information and Privacy Association; British Columbia Government and Service Employees' Union, Canadian Civil Liberties Association, Canadian Friends Service Committee; Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network; Canadian Journalists for Free Expression; Centre for Gender Advocacy; Creative Commons Canada; Electronic Frontier Foundation; eQualit.ie; Gender Creative Kids Canada; HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario; International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group; LaborNet; Ligue des droits et libertés; May First/People Link; OpenMedia; Powered by Data (A Tides Canada Project); Prisoners' Legal Services (West Coast Prison Justice Society); Project 10 / Projet 10 and Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic.
Letters were also signed or sent by the following prominent individuals:
Alexa Conradi, feminist activist and former spokeswoman of the Fédération des femmes du Québec; Amir Khadir, député de Mercier (Québec Solidaire); Avi Lewis, documentary filmmaker; Dr. Christopher Parsons, Research Associate, Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto; Dr. Gabriella Coleman, Professor and Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy, McGill University; Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, porte-parole de Québec Solidaire et député de Gouin; Dr. Ian Goldberg, Professor and University Research Chair, Cheriton School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo; Julius H. Grey, Grey Casgrain Avocats; Manon Massé, porte-parole de Québec Solidaire et députée de Ste-Marie-St-Jacques; The Hon. Marilou McPhedran, Independent Senator for Manitoba; Naomi Klein, author, social activist, and filmmaker; Dr. Jon Penney, Assistant Professor of Law, Director, Law & Technology Institute, Dalhousie University; Dr. Peter James Hudson, Assistant Professor, Department of African American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles; Dr. Renata Aquino Ribeiro, founder of E. I. Research, Association for Progressive Communications Individual Member; Dr. Rinaldo Walcott, Director, Women & Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto; Dr. Robert Leckey, McGill University and Dr. Ronald J. Deibert, Political Science Department Director, Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto.
For media inquiries related to specific organizations or individual signatories, please contact them directly.
For media inquiries seeking to connect with Ms. Manning’s Canadian legal counsel, for contact information related to the aforementioned signatories, or for questions related to the campaign please contact Lex Gill — lexgill at gmail.com.