Behrouz Boochani graduated from Tarbiat Madares University in Tehran with a Masters Degree in Political Geography and Geopolitics. Mr Boochani began working as a journalist both freelance and for various newspapers in Iran. His passion is the revival of Kurdish language and culture, a culture suffering under the practices of genocide for centuries. For many years Boochani would secretly teach children and adults their mother language, a particular Kurdish dialect from the region of Ilam. Behrouz Boochani also founded, edited and wrote for the Kurdish language magazine, Werya. He has been incarcerated in Manus Island Detention camp for almost 42 months now. During his time in the camp he has continued to write about the human rights abuses he and hundreds of other men experience daily. He passes much of this information to Australian and international journalists. PEN International is calling for his request for asylum in Australia to be determined urgently. Boochani received “Social Justice” award for his journalistic work from Diaspora Symposium on 2016
Behrouz Boochani, has been reporting on the human rights abuses both within and outside Australia’s immigration detention prison for more than three years.
Boochani has worked under implicit and explicit threat for many years in the context of an almost complete blackout of information from the remote immigration detention prison. Journalists from outside the prison are prevented from entering or reporting and staff members are gagged under draconian employment contracts that prevent them from speaking of any happenings within Australia’s detention network. The Secrecy and Disclosure Provisions of the 2015 Australian Border Force Act mandates that workers who speak of or report incidents from within the detention prison receive a 2 year prison sentence. This was amended September 2016 to exempt health workers however, potential ramifications remain through civil action from their employers.
Boochani writes and publishes in Australia and internationally. He also provides information for journalists outside of the prison. His work includes commentary, reporting, critique, film making, and theater. Following is a short CV of his work from within the Manus immigration detention prison:
Many articles published in leading newspapers including the Age, Guardian, Saturday Paper, Huffington Post; initiating conducting and responding to interviews; constant online presence through his Facebook page which has become a reference for media outlets; His essay ‘Life on Manus: The Island of the Damned’ was selected and published in The Best Australian Essays 2016 edited by Geordie Williamson and published by Black Inc.; His poetry has been published in Australian poetry journals and anthologies including the 2016 anthology ‘Writing To The Wire’ edited by Kit Kelen and Dan Disney and published by UWA Press 2016; Boochani’s interviews with fellow detainees are published in ‘They Cannot Take the Sky’ edited by Michael Green and Andre Dao, to be published by Allen and Unwin in March 2017. An exhibition of the same name will be held at the Australian immigration Museum in Melbourne Australia; ‘Chauka Please tell me the time’ is a film (as yet unreleased) that Boochani directed and shot secretly on his mobile phone from within the prison in collaboration with Iranian-Dutch filmmaker rash Kamali Sarvastani; He is providing background and specific information for a theatre project developed by Nazanin Sahami-zadeh in Tehran; Collaboration with BBC in making of the documentary ‘Dying for a better life’ 2015; ‘Nowhere Line: Voices from Manus Island’ an animation by Lucas Schrank is based on Boochani’s story and journey. He received the Social Justice award from the Diasproa Symposium held in Sydney in 2016.
Boochani has exposed some of the most secretive and worst excesses of the human rights abuses within the detention prison. His work has seen him recognised by the United Nations as a Human Rights Defender. He is also an Honorary member of PEN International and his case as an imprisoned writer is one of PEN International’s Main cases.