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Refugee journalist Behrouz Boochani decries 'queue-jumper' criticisms from National

Behrouz Boochani says criticisms accusing him of being a "queue jumper" after he was granted asylum in New Zealand are unfair.

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The Iranian-Kurdish journalist spoke to Breakfast after being granted asylum in New Zealand. Source: Breakfast

The Iranian-Kurdish journalist spent six years in Australia's Manus Island detention centre, writing a book over text messages which has won two major literary prizes.

National's immigration spokesperson, Stuart Smith, has criticised him as jumping the queue for entry to New Zealand and suggested he "played the immigration system like a violin".

But those criticisms are frustrating to Mr Boochani, who says it reduces the Manus Island refugees' plight to a personal story rather than a wider issue.

"In Manus Island, I was trying and I was fighting for human rights," he told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning.

"I was fighting to expose that system and challenge Australia through my writing.

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High-profile Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani granted refugee status in NZ

"This book is not my personal story... I think it's very unfair that people call me as a queue jumper or these kinds of words."

Mr Boochani says he's "relieved" to be granted asylum, saying: "I think it's wonderful that after eight months now, my story's finished."

While his story is finished, now living in Christchurch, Mr Boochani says the Australian government is continuing to "exile" people to detention centres.

"The system still continues in Australia and Nauru island," he says.

"They wanted to reduce us in some numbers and they wanted to take our humanity, our identity, and humiliate us."

Mr Boochani was granted asylum in New Zealand last week, recognising him as a refugee and giving him the right to stay in the country indefinitely.