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Chelsea Manning speaks during a public conference on privacy and data security for the public good in Lausanne, Switzerland, on March 7.LAURENT GILLIERON/The Associated Press

A Canadian tribunal has ruled that former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning must remain barred from the country because of her criminal convictions in the United States.

The Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) released the ruling against the U.S. citizen on April 8 after an admissibility hearing held late last year.

Canadian government officials who have been blocking Ms. Manning from crossing the border successfully argued that she cannot legally enter the country because she was convicted a decade ago of crimes including computer fraud for her decision to pass sensitive U.S. government documents to the WikiLeaks organization.

In her legal arguments and testimony via videolink last October, Ms. Manning argued that she is a principled whistleblower of global significance whose unique circumstances should override the standard interpretation of Canada’s border laws.

“The war on terror was being sold to different places and it was a broad, encompassing effort involving every country you could think of,” Ms. Manning testified. She told the Canadian tribunal she had risked everything in 2010 to leak hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. government assessments.

When WikiLeaks disseminated the material, the world was given explosive insights into Washington’s views about its coalition-building efforts surrounding its invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. Some of the documents also exposed civilian casualties, prompting critics to accuse the U.S. of cover-ups and war crimes.

In 2013, a U.S. judge sentenced the former private to 35 years in prison after finding her guilty of most of the charges related to the leak. Her sentence was later commuted by U.S. president Barack Obama.

When Ms. Manning tried to cross the Canadian border in 2017, she was turned away. She then spent years invoking her right to the IRB admissibility hearing.

The tribunal ruling disagreed with some of the federal government’s arguments, including allegations that Ms. Manning’s actions involving WikiLeaks could be considered akin to violating Canada’s information-security laws banning the disclosure of state secrets to foreign entities or terrorist groups.

But the tribunal upheld Ottawa’s core contention that Canada’s borders are closed to any foreigner with a conviction for crimes that would be punishable with a prison sentence of 10 years or more in Canada.

In an e-mail, Ms. Manning’s lawyers, Joshua Blum and Alexandra Gill, said they will launch an appeal at the Federal Court of Canada.

“Counsel for Ms. Manning are of the view that the decision is characterized by legal errors. We therefore intend to seek judicial review,” they said, adding that they plan to argue the IRB ruling is “overbroad and criminalizes whistleblowing.”

Their filings to the IRB made on Ms. Manning’s behalf argued that the records she disclosed “were of profound historical significance and played an essential role in transforming the public’s understanding of the so-called War on Terror.”

Statistics show that Canada’s border guards turn away as many as 4,000 people considered serious criminals each year. Such red-flagged travellers usually return to their home countries and forgo their right to hearings.

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