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'I Am Happy Because I Survived': Refugee Writer Is Free After Years In Detention


Added 11-14-19 01:06:02pm EST - “Behrouz Boochani won Australia's richest literary prize earlier this year ?" but the asylum-seeker, detained offshore, couldn't accept in person. Now, he has made it to New Zealand with a message.” - Npr.org

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Npr.org: “'I Am Happy Because I Survived': Refugee Writer Is Free After Years In Detention”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Behrouz Boochani, seen last year at the Australian detention center on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, where the Kurdish-Iranian asylum-seeker spent years seeking his freedom. On Thursday, the prize-winning author touched down in New Zealand on his way to a literary festival — free for the first time in six years. Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images hide caption

Behrouz Boochani, seen last year at the Australian detention center on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, where the Kurdish-Iranian asylum-seeker spent years seeking his freedom. On Thursday, the prize-winning author touched down in New Zealand on his way to a literary festival — free for the first time in six years.

In some ways, the fact that Behrouz Boochani touched down in New Zealand on his way to a literary festival is unremarkable. His memoir, No Friend but the Mountains, won Australia's richest literary prize earlier this year, after all, and presenting at such festivals is a pretty standard item on any celebrated writer's itinerary.

But this trip represented something unfamiliar for the Kurdish-Iranian journalist: his first glimpse of freedom in six years.

Boochani, 35, fled security forces in Iran — first for Indonesia and then Australia, where he sought asylum as a refugee. But he never made it to the Australian mainland. Instead, from 2013 on the country held him in an offshore detention facility based on Papua New Guinea, along with hundreds of other asylum-seekers.

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