Australia’s harsh treatment of asylum seekers has been widely condemned by international human rights groups and many of its citizens are vocal about the brutality of the system. Those seeking asylum in Australia are often traumatised people who have been tortured or have witnessed atrocities in their own countries and fear for their safety. They regularly find themselves locked up in mandatory detention for years, with no idea of when they will be released.
One victim of Australia’s uncompromising policy towards refugees is Behrouz Boochani, a Kurdish Iranian journalist. Boochani has been held in Australia’s offshore Manus Island Regional Processing Centre, situated on Papua New Guinea, for over three years. Boochani is co-founder and editor of the Kurdish magazine Werya, and has also worked for several Iranian newspapers, including Kasbokar Weekly, Khanoon and Etemad, and for the Iranian Sports Agency. He has written on politics in the Middle East and interviewed prominent Kurdish figures in Tehran.
On 17 February 2013, officials from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps raided Werya’s offices and arrested eleven of Boochani’s colleagues, several of whom were subsequently imprisoned. Boochani himself went into hiding for three months. As a member of