Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Immigration New Zealand Has Accepted Behrouz Boochani’s Asylum Claim

Behrouz is a Kurdish journalist from Iran who fled persecution and attempted to seek safety in Australia. He rose to international prominence during six years in Australia’s offshore detention centres on Manus Island (Papua New Guinea), beginning in 2013.

His detention was the result of the Australian government’s cruel and unlawful asylum policies, which involved sending thousands of asylum seekers to Pacific Island nations of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Nauru. Amnesty International’s research found that the conditions for people trapped in these centres amounts to torture under international law.

Behrouz gained a reputation as a journalist and human rights defender by talking about violations in the press and social media throughout his ordeal. He published over 100 news articles from detention, for which he earned an Amnesty International Australia Media Award.

His autobiographical book, No Friend But The Mountains, published in July 2018 while he remained detained, won five literary awards in Australia, including the Victorian Prize for Literature and the National Biography Award.

In November 2019, he made his first trip out of PNG. Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand was thrilled to sponsor Behrouz for a one-month visitor visa so that he could appear at a literary event organised by WORD Christchurch. Despite his literary accolades, this was the first time he was able to meet his audience in person.

In addition to Behrouz’s work as a journalist under incredibly difficult conditions, he also filmed a feature length documentary called Chauka, Please Tell Us The Time on a smuggled mobile phone. The film - a powerful exposé of the intentional cruelty of the Australian government’s system of banishing people seeking refuge to remote offshore islands - was screened in festivals all around the world. His work is also the inspiration for a play, a symphony, and there is a film adaptation of No Friend But The Mountains in development.

Behrouz applied for asylum in New Zealand during his visit. Due to legal restrictions that protect the right to privacy for asylum seekers in New Zealand, the authorities and his legal team, as well as Amnesty International (as his visitor visa sponsors) were prevented from discussing the case, even its existence.


Executive Director of Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand, Meg de Ronde said, "When Amnesty International researchers went to Manus Island to document human rights abuses, Behrouz said the most important thing for all the men trapped there was, ‘Freedom…freedom in a safe place.’ It’s wonderful to hear that New Zealand is offering him freedom and the chance to rebuild his life here."

De Ronde said, "Behrouz is a survivor. People who have no choice but to flee their home countries deserve our compassion. But the treatment he and thousands of others received from the Australian authorities was abhorrent. Many people didn’t survive it. Behrouz is a testament to the will to live. And his commitment to freedom for every other person trapped in Australian detention is an example for us all."

"Behrouz has so much to offer New Zealand and the world. We can only guess what his intelligence, humanity, compassion and creativity will bring in years to come. But it shouldn’t take an award-winning book to be freed from Australian detention. Hundreds of people are still being held against their will in Australia, PNG and Nauru. Enough is enough. It’s time for Australia to accept the New Zealand offer to take 150 of these refugees per year," she said.

De Ronde said, "Today is a day for celebration. Today is the first day in Behrouz’s life that he is free. Free from the persecution of the Iranian authorities simply because he is Kurdish. Free from the deliberate cruelty of the Australian government. Free from the physical and mental abuse of the PNG guards. Free from the crushing injustice of being denied his rights. Free to heal. Free to be who he is. Free to become whoever he wants to be."

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Pike River Recovery: Loader Driven By Russell Smith Recovered

A loader driven by former miner Russell Smith at the time of the Pike River Mine explosion has now been recovered from 1581m up the 2.3km drift access tunnel.
The recovery of the loader went smoothly and to plan. Pike River families were able to witness it being towed to a storage area, Chief Operations Officer Dinghy Pattinson says.
“We reached the loader at the end of last week, and then conducted a very deliberate and exacting forensic examination of the vehicle and operational zone... More>>


E-Cigarettes: Vaping Legislation Passes

Landmark legislation passed today puts New Zealand on track to saving thousands of lives and having a smokefree generation sooner rather than later, Associate Health Minister, Jenny Salesa says. The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) ... More>>


Housing: Government Delivers On Rental Reforms Promise

The Government has delivered on its promise to New Zealanders to modernise tenancy laws with the passing of the Residential Tenancies Amendment (RTA) Bill 2020 today, says Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing), Kris Faafoi. “The Residential ... More>>


National: $4 Billion Investment To End Wellington’s Congestion Woes

A National Government will invest another $4 billion in transport infrastructure across Wellington, igniting the economy and delivering the congestion-busting solutions the region has long been crying out for, National Party Leader Judith Collins says. ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Virtues (and Fluffed Opportunities) Of The Operation Burnham Report

One unspoken rule of thumb in any official public inquiry is : whatever you do, don’t conclude you were made to listen to “a litany of lies” even if the evidence of a deliberate cover-up is right there under your nose. In that respect, the report ... More>>


Office Of The Speaker: Parliament Is Revamping Its Rules

Today, the Standing Orders Committee’s report on the review of Standing Orders was presented to the House. The Speaker of the House, the Rt Hon Trevor Mallard, chairs the committee. He said today that the 2020 review will make our rules more ... More>>

Your Vote 2020: Bringing Election Coverage To Viewers Across TVNZ Channels And Platforms

As New Zealand gets ready to head to the ballot box this September, 1 NEWS is bringing voters comprehensive coverage and analysis of this year’s General Election. TVNZ’s coverage will draw on the depth of experience held across the 1 NEWS team, says Graeme ... More>>

Economy: 30% Believe Households Worse Off, 298,000 Expect To Lose Jobs

64% of New Zealanders feel the economic position of their households is the same or better than a year ago – and 30% think it is worse or much worse, while 298,000 think they will lose their jobs in the next 12 months. Households’ perceptions ... More>>

State Services Commission: Findings Of Investigation Into COVID-19 Active Cases Privacy Breach

Deputy State Services Commissioner Helene Quilter has today announced the findings of an investigation into a breach of privacy regarding sensitive personal information. The investigation looked into who or what caused the disclosure of the information, ... More>>

International Security: New Zealand Suspends Extradition Treaty With Hong Kong

The New Zealand Government has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and made a number of other changes in light of China’s decision to pass a national security law for Hong Kong, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says. More>>


Energy: 100% Renewable Electricity Grid Explored With Pumped Storage ‘battery’

The Government is taking a significant step toward its goal for 100% renewable electricity generation in a move that could be a game changer for consumers and the creation of a low-emissions economy, Energy & Resources Minister Megan Woods said. ... More>>






InfoPages News Channels