Refugee in NZ Behrouz Boochani hits out at Australia’s ‘mistreatment of refugees’
Christchurch: Kurdish-Iranian author Behrouz Boochani has praised Kiwis for “rejecting the politics of hate and division” after being granted refugee status. Mr Boochani arrived in Christchurch in November last year after being granted a visitor visa to attend a literary festival. He remained in New Zealand after his visa ran out.
He had spent more than six years in an Australian detention centre on Manus Island, where he wrote the award-winning book No Friend But the Mountains using only his phone.
He was granted asylum here on his birthday, July 23, telling The Guardian he was happy to have “some certainty about my future”.
The 37-year-old tweeted yesterday to thank New Zealand and criticise Australia, which kept him in detention.
“I salute the people of New Zealand for rejecting the politics of hate & division,” he wrote.
“Australia’s asylum policies are harmful to both refugees and people of Australia, many of whom are ashamed of their government’s mistreatment of refugees and the stain left on their history. “Gaining asylum in New Zealand is an important milestone in my life. My journey and work are about the marginalised and forgotten people everywhere.” “I would like to thank the Ngai Tahu iwi and The University of Canterbury for their support in allowing me to continue my work.”
He currently lives in Christchurch. In Iran, he says he was persecuted for his work as a journalist. Newshub