'You exiled me to Manus': Behrouz Boochani lashes Labor's 'shameful' response to NZ arrival

"You exiled me to Manus and you have supported this exile policy for years," Kurdish refugee Behrouz Boochani said.

Less than 24 hours after marking his "bittersweet" arrival in New Zealand, Kurdish refugee Behrouz Boochani has used Twitter to hit out at the Australian Labor party.

The opposition's Home Affairs spokesperson Kristina Keneally took to the social media platform to welcome news of Boochani's departure from Papua New Guinea, but the gesture was not well received.

"We look forward for Mr Boochani having the opportunity to permanently resettle in a third country as soon as possible, wherever that may be," the statement by Senator Keneally read.

Labor Senator Kristina Keneally.
Source: AAP

"Labor has been calling on the third term Morrison Government to resettle eligible refugees in PNG and Nauru for close to six years."

However, Boochani has panned the remarks, describing them as unacceptable.

"You exiled me to Manus and you have supported this exile policy for years," the Kurdish refugee said.

Asylum seeker Behrouz Boochani stands outside the abandoned naval base on Manus Island where he and others were housed.
Source: LightRocket

"I don't need you to welcome resettlement for me in a third country."

The asylum-seeker advocate and award-winning author is now calling on Labor to do more to assist others who have faced similar challenges.

"If you are honest, do something for others who are suffering in PNG and Nauru," he wrote.

Asylum seeker Behrouz Boochani shares photos with Manus Island locals.
Source: LightRocket

Boochani arrived by boat on Christmas Island in July 2013 and was sent to Australia's offshore detention facility on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea a month later, while under the administration of Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

It was Boochani's reporting and support of Kurdish independence which saw him seek asylum further abroad, amid fears of persecution in Iran.

A spokesperson for Senator Keneally has refused to comment on Boochani's reply.

Published 15 November 2019 at 7:45pm, updated 16 November 2019 at 11:57am
By Adam Marsters