[@OKau] CNet: Australia keeps refugees in technology limbo

Steven Clift clift at e-democracy.org
Wed Aug 17 16:30:17 UTC 2016

Part of "Life Disrupted" series of refguees and tech:


This is part of our Road Trip 2016 summer series "Life, Disrupted,"
about how technology is helping with the global refugee crisis -- if
at all.

Behrouz Boochani has been stuck on an island in the middle of the
Pacific for the past three years. He's 7,000 miles from home and still
far from the place he's trying to reach. His lifeline is a feeble
internet connection that he says is slowly turning his hair gray.

Still, he's only ever a few minutes away on WhatsApp.

The political journalist fled Iran after his offices were raided and
colleagues were arrested. Traveling to Australia to seek asylum as a
refugee, Boochani arrived by boat in July 2013 on the remote
Australian territory of Christmas Island, 1,000 miles off the coast of
Western Australia.

Enlarge Image

Hidden camera footage, obtained for thedocumentary film "Chasing
Asylum," shows the desperation that exists inside offshore detention

"Chasing Asylum"

That's as far as he got.

Not long afterward, he was transferred to Manus Island, Papua New
Guinea (PNG) and was told by the Australian government he wouldn't be
allowed to settle in Australia.

Unwilling to return to Iran and blocked from reaching Australia, he's
been working as a journalist and human rights advocate, writing
remotely from Manus Island. In 2013, he traded clothes and shoes for
about 50 cigarettes that he used to buy a beat-up mobile phone from
smugglers. When it was confiscated by guards, he had to sell more
possessions to buy another.

It's a reminder of the vital role technology plays in keeping refugees
across the world connected and the lengths they go to to keep in touch
as they face the most difficult journey of their lives.


Steven Clift  -  Executive Director, E-Democracy.org
   clift at e-democracy.org  -  +1 612 234 7072
   @democracy  -  http://linkedin.com/in/netclift
   http://1radionews.com - My radio app

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