OSLO - A young asylum seeker who was crowned "Norwegian of the Year" after writing about her life as an illegal immigrant faces expulsion back to Russia after being arrested in Oslo on Monday, police said.
Madina Salamova, who under the pseudonym Maria Amelie wrote an acclaimed book entitled "Illegal Norwegian" about her life undercover, had been living illegally in Norway since her family's final asylum request was denied in 2004. "She was arrested Monday morning when she came" to an Oslo police station, Norwegian police said in a statement.
"The arrest happened without incident. She will be expelled to Russia as soon as possible," it added. Salamova, who hails from North Ossetia in the Russian southwest, was awarded the title of "Norwegian of the Year" last month by the magazine Ny Tid (New Time) for having given a face to the faceless.
The panel in particular praised her for putting her own future in jeopardy in order to give readers an insight into the conditions illegals are facing. The 25-year-old, who arrived in Norway in 2002, is considered an integration success story: she has completed a Masters degree, although she had to use a fake name and has had to live in hiding.
"Most people think I am Norwegian. I speak Norwegian, I think Norwegian, I dream in Norwegian," she has told media. She was first arrested on January 12 after speaking at a school. She was freed after a few days but on condition she report to police every day.