Maria Amelie, a former Soviet Union citizen, who came to Norway 7 years ago was arrested yesterday, by no less than 8 police officers, and is now in custody awaiting deportation.
She was arrested in Lillehammer, after giving a speech in the Nansen School, which is named after one of Norway’s most famous humanitarians and asylum advocates Fridtjof Nansen. He got the Nobel peace prize for his work with Russians.
She has lived illegally in Norway for many years, since her parents failed to get asylum here. Last year she published a book about how it is to live illegally in Norway, without legal papers and freedom. She has, without a legal status, studied at the university in Trondheim, earning a master’s degree in science and technology, but is unable to get those papers too, since she can’t sign for them without presenting a passport or other legal documents with both her name and picture on it.
She was honored with the award of “Norwegian of the Year” by the magazine “Ny Tid” last year, and has been a very public figure the last few months, giving talks, helping out with festivals and giving interviews.
There has been demonstrations in at least 4 cities today, and there will definitely be a lot of noise around this issue, which is very awkward for the government, since the ruling parties don’t agree at all when it comes to issues like this.