Age: 55 |
Birth City: آبادان |
Joined on October 02, 2012
Boochani travelled through south-east Asia and then by boat to Christmas Island, an Australian territory closer to Indonesia. From there he was deported to Manus Island, a remote part of Papua New Guinea (PNG), where he has been held ever since.
Triggered by outcries over people smuggling, contentious arrivals and boat sinkings, Australia’s policy – developed by both rightwing Coalition and Labor governments – is that while it will admit refugees, it will not take any that come by sea. “It is not because they are bad people,” the Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, told Donald Trump in a leaked phone call. “It is because, in order to stop people smugglers, we had to deprive them of the product. So we said, if you try to come to Australia by boat, even if we think you are the best person in the world, even if you are a Nobel prize-winning genius, we will not let you in.”
The human cost is nearly 2,000 people detained on Manus and the tiny island nation of Nauru. Most have been formally recognised as refugees, but live either in processing centres or in the community, unable to leave the islands. The cruelty is largely tolerated, indeed embraced, by politicians in Canberra because it is seen as a deterrent. But detention is expensive – A$10bn (£5.6bn) since 2013 – and many experts believe the naval policing operation in the Pacific has had more of an impact. The UN, doctors, human rights groups and reporting by media including the Guardian have made detention a public relations problem.
Australian journalists have largely been barred from Manus and Nauru, and since he began contributing to the Guardian in 2016, Boochani has offered the most visible, trusted testimony. This year he was honoured with an Amnesty International award. The film Chauka, Please Tell Us the Time was shot inside the Manus centre on a mobile phone by Boochani and shown at the London and Sydney film festivals. He is writing an autobiographical novel.
As the Australian and PNG authorities stepped up their plan to disperse the refugees from Manus into smaller, less secure accommodation by 31 October, Guardian Australia asked Boochani to keep a diary alongside his opinion articles; extracts from both are published here. Boochani’s English is good but his writing is translated from Farsi by Omid Tofighian from Sydney University. Boochani has limited access to email and electricity. Sometimes he is simply too hungry to file.
“His courage over the four years of his internment in the face of the horror of Manus – a hell of repression, cruelty and violence – has been of the highest order,” the Booker-prize-winning Australian writer Richard Flanagan wrote last month. “Behrouz Boochani kept on smuggling out his messages of despair in the hope we would listen. It’s time we did.”
Will Woodward, deputy editor, Guardian Australia
Pishevar, an early backer of the ride-hailing company who was a board observer at the time, allegedly did something else memorable that night. According to current and former colleagues with knowledge of the events that evening, the then 40-year old investor approached Austin Geidt, Uber’s 30-year-old head of global expansion, placed his hand on her leg and moved it up her dress. Geidt squirmed away, the colleagues say.
It was not the first time Pishevar had made advances toward Geidt, which she declined to reciprocate, according to the colleagues. Geidt joined Uber Technologies Inc. as an intern in 2010. She was soon tasked with launching Uber in new cities, where Pishevar, a major Democratic Party donor, offered valuable political and business connections.
Over the years, these people say, Pishevar seemed to take a liking to Geidt, following her around at company events, and at times placing his hand on her leg or lower back. A person with firsthand knowledge of the holiday party incident and these other encounters confirmed the account of Pishevar’s behavior to Bloomberg. Geidt, who’s now head of operations for Uber’s autonomous driving unit, declined to comment for this story.
Five other women who met Pishevar in a professional context told Bloomberg they were sexually assaulted or harassed by him. In each case, the women accused Pishevar of exploiting a professional connection, and using the prospect of a job, mentorship or investment to make an unwanted sexual advance. They all asked not to be identified, citing fears over the investor’s history of filing lawsuits and concerns that he could wield his influence in the tech industry to ruin their careers. Earlier this year, Pishevar got a U.K. court to prohibit a local newspaper from reporting on his arrest following a rape allegation against him. London police investigated and didn’t charge him. He later sued what he described as an opposition research firm, claiming it was trying to spread false allegations about him >>>