Posted on 07/27/2020 at 09:37 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

At long last, Kurdish-Iranian author Behrouz Boochani has officially received refugee status.

Boochani received this news on Thursday, which was both his birthday and the seven-year anniversary of being intercepted by Australian authorities as he attempted to seek asylum, reports CNN.

He spent six years in a detention center on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, where he wrote an award-winning memoir, No Friend but the MountainsWriting from Manus Prison, via text message.

New Zealand granted Boochani a monthlong visa in November so that he could attend a literary festival, and it was then that he filed an application protection.

He told CNN that receiving refugee status was bittersweet, given the number of people still in Australian detention centers, conditions at which have been heavily criticized.

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