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After fleeing Iran in 2013 and spending 6 years in a controversial refugee camp in Australia, Iranian Kurdish journalist Behrouz Boochani was finally granted political asylum in New Zealand. </p><div> <p>He is now free to move around. Great witness of <strong>australian detention camps</strong>, Berhooz Boochani was granted political asylum in New Zealand on Friday July 24. His journey began in 2013 when he fled Iran where he was persecuted as a Kurdish journalist. Arrested the same year by Australia where he was seeking refuge, he remained in detention in <strong>Manus Island camp</strong> for 6 years. His book <em>Testimony of a prison island</em>, sent page after page by WhatsApp to an Australian publisher while in custody has been awarded and translated into many languages. Berhooz Boochani arrived in <strong>New Zealand in 2019</strong>.
►To (re) listen to: Fréquence Asie – Behrouz Boochani: ” Australia has robbed us of six years of our life »
It was to present this book, in November 2019, that Berhooz Boochani had obtained a short visa in New Zealand. He remained there, supported in his asylum application by Amnesty International. ” We are very happy with this news, it is a moment of joy to savor. Berhouz Boochani is now free to live wherever he wants, far from the persecution he has suffered as a Kurdish journalist or the persecution of the Australian government. He can finally become an ordinary man again instead of being the face of this appalling politics », Says with relief the director of the NGO Meg de Ronde.
« We must put an end to this torturing system »
Now working as a researcher at Christchurch University, Berhooz Boochani testifies in his book about the living conditions in the detention camps of Manus, in the northeast of the Papua Archipelago. He notably reports cases of distress, self-harm and suicide. For years, Canberra has relegated illegal immigrants trying to reach its shores to camps offshore on this island, or in the small state further east of Nauru, in application of an immigration policy condemned by human rights organizations.
« We hope that the Australian government will finally understand that it is more than urgent to allow these men and women and their families to resettle in third countries and that after almost 8 years of existence we must put an end to this torturing system », Reacted the director of the NGO. As soon as these outsourced camps were installed in Papua, New Zealand was to, by agreement, relocate 150 refugees per year to its soil. Amnesty International calls on the Australian government to accept this agreement which it has refused for years.
►To (re) read: How Australia exports the reception of migrants in offshore camps