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Authors, publishers join campaign to resettle Boochani

A number of prominent Australian writers, publishers and journalists have joined a new campaign calling on the federal government to resettle Manus Island-detainee and award-winning author Behrouz Boochani in Australia.

The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) is co-ordinating the #FreeBehrouz campaign to resettle Boochani in Australia after six years on Manus Island. Among the more than 2000 signatories to the petition are writers Arnold Zable, Helen Garner, Kate Grenville, J M Coetzee and Tom Keneally, and publishers Michael Heyward, Henry Rosenbloom and Geordie Williamson.

The core campaign comprises Zable, Writing Through Fences founder Janet Galbraith, visual artist Hoda Afshar, journalist and Alliance for Journalists Freedom spokesperson Peter Greste and MEAA CEO Paul Murphy.

The campaign’s stated mission is to ‘leverage our collective weight around this emblematic case’. ‘In addition to seeking the resettlement of Behrouz Boochani to a safe destination, our purpose is to engage and mobilise others within literary and journalistic communities and grow exposure of Behrouz Boochani’s book, No Friend But The Mountains: Writing From Manus Prison, as well as his other powerful commentary on Australia’s detention industry,’ the campaign organisers write. ‘In so doing we aim to bring more attention to all subject to Australia’s immigration detention regime.’

Zable expands on the campaign for Boochani in an opinion piece published by Fairfax.

‘In the light of the success of No Friend but the Mountains and increased attention to my work, MEAA, who have supported me and my works over the past few years have started a campaign to release me from Manus … This is important in promoting my work and fighting for freedom of speech for imprisoned journalists and writers,’ said Boochani in a Facebook post.

‘The campaign has engaged new communities of journalists, writers, academics and artists who have been silent in front of this barbaric policy. Like all my previous attempts I am hoping this will shine a light on the situation of all of us refugees on Manus and Nauru and go a long way towards shutting down the prison camps and getting freedom for all.’

To view the petition click here.


Category: Local news