New Zealand Grants Behrouz Boochani Refugee Status
Behrouz Boochani, 37, a Kurdish-Iranian refugee who wrote the award-winning book, No Friend But the Mountains on his mobile phone while held in one of Australia’s notorious Pacific detention camps, has been granted asylum in New Zealand, Aljazeera reports.
Boochani has been in New Zealand since November when he applied for refugee status after attending a literary festival to speak about his six years in limbo under Australia’s hardline immigration policies, the news agency reports.
Immigration New Zealand said Boochani’s application had been successful, which means he has the right to stay in the country indefinitely.
“Mr Boochani has been recognised as a refugee under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol,” it said in a brief statement.
“I feel relieved, it’s the end of very long story, my personal story,” Boochani said. “But on the other side, the whole story still remains, and I’m only part of whole story. This policy of Australia still keeps people in indefinite detention.”
In New Zealand, Boochani will work as a senior adjunct research fellow at the University of Canterbury.
Original article by Aljazeera, July 24, 2020.
Photo by Hoda Afshar.