After 6 years, refugee writer tastes freedom in New Zealand

Save Story

Estimated read time: Less than a minute

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — For the first time in six years, Behrouz Boochani feels like a free man. When he arrived in New Zealand last week, he simply wanted to smoke a cigarette and take a long walk down the street.

A refugee from Iran, Boochani was held against his will at Australia’s notorious offshore immigration camp on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea from 2013 until he was recently moved to the capital, Port Moresby.

But even now, the 36-year-old’s future remains uncertain. He arrived in New Zealand on a temporary one-month visa to speak at a literary festival.

Boochani says he has no interest in returning to Papua New Guinea but wouldn’t be drawn on whether he’d seek asylum in New Zealand, pursue a claim to U.S. asylum or do something else.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Most recent World stories

Related topics

The Associated Press


    Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast