Norway deports Russian woman who was crowned “Norwegian of the Year”

January 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

Norway has arrested and deported a young Russian author. Her fate prompted nationwide public protests against asylum laws, and the centre-left coalition government has been left shaken. Maria Amelie, 25, captured the hearts of many Norwegians with “Illegally Norwegian”, a book describing fleeing the Russian republic of North Ossetia at 12 and going underground with her parents when their asylum application was rejected. She evaded Immigration for 8 years while learning fluent Norwegian, getting a university degree and then writing her best-seller. “I was born in the Caucasus but I have spent more than half of my life fleeing, A large part of my life I have spent in Norway, so I feel Norwegian and my friends call me Norwegian. I feel this is where I belong.” Maria Amelie calls herself a paperless immigrant – someone whose asylum application has been denied and consequently has no papers and no citizen rights. Her frank book and remarkable integration into Norwegian society endeared her to the Norwegian people and media. A magazine awarded her the title “Norwegian of the year” in 2010 but her book blew her cover. Many demonstrating against her deportation argue that paperless immigrants should be granted the right to work, pay taxes and access Norway’s public health service while appealing for their situation to be resolved. (BBC)

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