Refugee in NZ Behrouz Boochani hits out at Aus­tralia’s ‘mis­treat­ment of refugees’

Fiji Sun - - AUST/NZ/PACIFIC NEWS - Kur­dish-Ira­nian author Behrouz Boochani rosi.doviverata@fi­jisun.com.fj

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

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