Posted on 11/21/2019 at 09:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Award-winning author Behrouz Boochani is certainly enjoying his first taste of freedom in six years.

Boochani, an Iranian Kurd, sought asylum on Australia's Christmas Island in July 2013.

Instead, Australia detained him at Manus Island in Papua New Guinea, from which he wrote his award-winning memoir No Friend but the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison.

Last week, Boochani was granted a monthlong visa to speak at the Word Christchurch Festival in New Zealand, which takes place November 29.

And while he told The Associated Press that he has no interest in returning to Manus Island, he wouldn’t answer questions on his future plans, including whether he’d seek asylum in other countries.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told the AP that she wasn’t notified about Boochani’s arrival in advance and would have appreciated receiving a heads-up about it.

Read more about Boochani’s arrival and its political significance from the AP.

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