The US singer Chris Brown has had his visa application to tour in Australia formally denied on character grounds, the immigration minister, Peter Dutton, has confirmed.
Brown pleaded guilty to attacking his then girlfriend, the pop singer Rihanna, in 2009.
The performer was issued with a formal notice that his visa application would be denied on Friday night, Dutton said. He has 28 days to appeal.
“People to whom these notices are issued have 28 days to present material as to why they should be given a visa to enter Australia,” the minister said. “Decisions on whether a visa will or will not be issued are made after that timeframe and consideration of the material presented to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.”
On Thursday the newly appointed women’s minister, Michaelia Cash, indicated that Brown would not be let in. “I can assure you that the minister for immigration and border protection will be looking at this very, very seriously,” she said.
“I am clearly not going to pre-empt a decision by the minister, however, I can assure you what my strong recommendation would be.”
The immigration minister has ultimate discretion on whether people who have had prior convictions can be granted a visa to enter Australia.
Cash said: “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.”
Brown was due to tour Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth in December as part of his One Hell of a Nite tour. Tickets for the shows go on sale on Monday. A spokeswoman for Brown’s touring company would not answer any of Guardian Australia’s questions on the matter, offering only: “No comment”.
The advocacy group GetUp created an online petition this month calling for Brown to be banned from entering the country, saying that allowing him to tour would send the message that Australia does not take domestic violence seriously.
“Chris Brown is not the point of this campaign,” a senior campaigner for GetUp, Kelsey Cooke, told Sky News on Sunday. “It is about domestic violence and taking that seriously, rather than turning a blind eye.”
Cooke said the “high-profile example” of Brown having his visa denied was a “good sign of the times changing”.
Brown has toured in Australia twice since his conviction, in 2011 and 2012.
This article was written by Shalailah Medhora, for theguardian.com on Sunday 27th September 2015 02.32 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010