Behrouz Boochani

Author, Journalist, Human Rights Defender, Associate Professor

Behrouz Boochani is a 37 year old Kurdish-Iranian journalist, writer, film director and human rights activist. He fled Iran in 2013, after the offices of the Kurdish magazine he had co-founded were raided, and several of his colleagues arrested and imprisoned. On his second attempt at getting to Australia from Indonesia, the boat carrying Behrouz and 60 other refugees, was intercepted by the Royal Australian Navy, and they were eventually sent to the Manus Island detention facility as part of Australia’s ‘Operation Sovereign Borders’ campaign. The Manus Island detention centre closed in 2017, but Behrouz and others remained on the island before being moved to Port Moresby in 2019. In September that same year, he was granted a one month visa to speak at a special event in Christchurch, New Zealand, where he applied for refugee status. This was granted in July 2020.

In 2018 Behrouz’s book ‘No Friend But the Mountains’ was published. The book had been painstakingly tapped out in FARSI, on a mobile phone via WhatsApp, and translated into English by his TRANSLATOR Omid Tofighian. In 2019, the book won the Victorian Prize for Literature and the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Nonfiction as well as the Australian Book Industry Award (ABIA) for General non-fiction book of the year. It was given a Special Award as part of the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards that same year.

Behrouz continues to fight for the rights of those left behind in Port Moresby and for refugees and human rights worldwide.

Upcoming Presentations

No presentation found