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Chris Brown may not be allowed into Australia, official says

The singer may be denied entry to Australia, unable to perform his planned tour in December due to his 2009 domestic violence conviction. 

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    Singer Chris Brown at the D.C. Superior Court, in Washington, June 2014. Brown arrived for a hearing on the assault charge he faces. Brown may now be prohibited from entering Australia for his upcoming tour this December.
    Susan Walsh/AP
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Chris Brown has completed his five years of probation for his high-profile domestic violence conviction against his then-girlfriend, Rhianna, but that doesn't necessarily mean he is finished paying the price for the 2009 assault.  

Just one week ago, Chris Brown announced his tour of Australia, which includes concerts in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. But the country's newly appointed minister for women, Michaelia Cash, intimated that Brown will be denied a visa.

“People need to understand if you are going to commit domestic violence and then you want to travel around the world, there are going to be countries that say to you ‘You cannot come in because you are not of the character we expect in Australia,’ and certainly, without pre-empting the decision of the minister, I can assure you it is something that the minister is looking at,” Ms. Cash said during an anti-domestic violence policy reveal yesterday.

Though immigration minister Peter Dutton has not made an official decision, Cash is not the only Australian who doesn’t welcome Brown.

GetUp, one of Australia’s largest independent social justice organizations, created an online petition last Friday urging the Immigration Minister of Australia to deny Brown entry to the country, stating his visit would have “enormous symbolic significance.”

The petition, which has already garnered 12,500 signatures, states, “By turning a blind eye to his tour, we send a message to survivors of family violence that it's not that important and that you should just get over it.”

The petition continues by suggesting that by not taking a stand, “we are implicitly sending the message that if you brutally beat a woman, in a short amount of time you will be forgiven, or even celebrated.”

Some citizens in Melbourne have also publicly declared their views on Brown, altering concert posters with the addition of a sticker declaring ‘I beat women.’

And yet Brown has in fact already been to Australia following his conviction – twice – performing in 2011 as part of his F.A.M.E. tour and in 2012 for Supafest, the largest urban music festival in Australia.

It’s unclear why Australia is now reconsidering its policy towards Brown, but Brown’s violation of probation and jail time in 2014 might have provided further reason.

Additionally, neighbor New Zealand has said that Brown would be ineligible to receive a visa, should he apply, The Guardian reports, due to his ban from entering from the United Kingdom in 2010. Brown is scheduled to perform in New Zealand following his Australian concerts.

Brown isn’t the first singer to face scrutiny from a country. Several other well-known celebrities have been banned from visiting nations that deem their character “inappropriate” or otherwise disagree with the image they represent.  

Miley Cyrus has been permanently banned from China after making a “distasteful, stereotypical slanted eyes face in a photo,” reported Gigwise. She was also prohibited from visiting the Dominican Republic last year because her shows "undertake acts that go against morals and customs, which are punishable by Dominican law,” said British music magazine New Musical Express.

In 2010, Elton John’s tour to Egypt was canceled by the Egyptian Music Union after Mr. John unveiled his belief, aired during an interview with Parade Magazine, that “Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man” and that all religions should be banned.

Lady Gaga was also denied entry to Indonesia on account of protests from “Islamic hard-liners” who said her “sexy clothes and dance moves [would] corrupt young people,” reported The Independent.

But the United States has also banned entertainers. In 2008, Amy Winehouse was denied a US visa due to drug charges she faced in Denmark. She missed the Grammy ceremony, where she won five awards.

The list of celebrities banned from countries extends to athletes and activists alike, as many countries have policies outlining inadmissibility that include denial of entry or visas for people with criminal histories, drug abuse, or serious medical problems, among others.

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