Chris Brown has appealed Australia's decision to reject his visa, saying he wants to go to the country to raise awareness about domestic violence. The US singer was denied a visa to perform a series of concerts due to take place in December as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minister For Women Michaelia Cash both backed calls to ban him from entering the country.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton confirmed last week that Brown's visa application had been rejected due to his criminal offence for abusing ex-girlfriend Rihanna. He was sentenced to five years probation in the US and has been denied visas to the UK and Canada since he was convicted. However, Brown has now said he wants to go to Australia to raise awareness about domestic violence, saying that youth don't listen to their parents but that they might listen to an entertainer.
A petition calling to ban the singer from performing in Australia was launched by campaign group GetUp and signed by more than 14,000 people. GetUp welcomed the Federal Government's decision last week to reject Brown's visa due to his history of domestic violence.
"Allowing Brown to tour sends the message that he gets an exemption because he's a celebrity or because violence against women isn't considered substantive," said GetUp! campaigner Sally Rugg. "It's horrifying just how many men who have convictions of violence against women still enjoy a career in the entertainment industry – it's not just Chris Brown."
Under Australia's Migration Act, people with a "substantial criminal record" can be refused a visa. Many Australians took to Twitter last week to welcome the government's decision to reject the singer's visa.
Brown's manager confirmed that the visa rejection will be appealed by the singer and that Chris Brown was looking forward to being in Australia in December. He said: "We have faith that a decision will be made with the full consideration of his continued personal growth, ongoing philanthropic endeavours and desire to perform for his fans."