Australia detains U.S. anti-abortion activist

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 01, 2015 12:47 AM

By Colin Packham

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia said it has detained an U.S. anti-abortion activist after he attempted to enter the country without a valid visa on Thursday, just days after permission for him travel to Australia for a series of talks was revoked.

Troy Newman, a anti-abortion campaigner, was detained at Melbourne Airport after landing on a flight from the United States, a spokeswoman for Australian minister for Immigration Petter Dutton said.

"Since does not hold a visa, he is unable to enter Australia and remains in the presence of Australian Border Force officials at the Melbourne Airport pending his removal," the spokeswoman said.

Australia said the airline, reported by local media to be United Airlines [UALCO.UL], faces a fine for transporting a traveler without a valid visa.

Newman was due to speak at events around the country at events organized by Right to Life Australia.

However, Newman had his Australian visa revoked on Tuesday.

In a posting on Facebook, Newman criticized Australia's action and said was making the journey despite having his visa canceled.

"The revocation was based on a pile of lies, including the idea that I promote violence. My 25-year history of peaceful, prayerful action speaks for itself," said Newman.

"In spite of many objections by the airlines and Australia. We have been in the air 11 hours and will land in about [four]. Please pray that we can get past immigration so the truth can be told throughout Australia."

Critics of Newman, however, point to a previous book, in which he questions why women who have abortions are not charged with murder.

The rejection of Newman's visa comes days after Australia said it would refuse a visa to U.S. hip-hop star Chris Brown, because of the singer's history of domestic violence.

Australia's newly installed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has renewed efforts to fight domestic violence following a spate of high-profile deaths.

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)