On the 13th August, a blustery Saturday in Tromsø, Norwegian Minister of Education Kristin Halvorsen began her election campaign by meeting with the new guest writer in Tromsø, Akash Jahangir. In the half-hour meet that she graciously accorded, Halvorsen showed keen interest in Akash's narrative on Human rights abuses and minority rights suppression in Bangladesh.
After working for 20 years as a journalist in the Rajshahi district of Bangladesh, Akash Jahangir was captured and tortured in front of his family. He was persecuted for the writing he had done on the atrocities against women and minority groups in Bangladesh as well as the state terrorism that was being perpetrated through the governments Rapid Action Battalion. Kristin Halvorsen said that she was proud of the city of Tromsø for its guest writer project which enabled them to host the Bangladeshi journalist. It is important for both sides, she said, adding that Norway needs to know about these matters and needs to be involved in the ICORN guest writer program. The new guest writer stated that he was fascinated by his new home, the exotic north Norwegian town of Tromsø.
Text: Easterine Iralu, City of Refuge Coordinator Tromsø