Maria Amelie (née Madina Salamova) was born in the former Soviet Union (in the Kaukasus, North-Ossetia) and came to Norway as a teenager in 2002 with her parents as an illegal immigrant. The family failed to get a residence permit, however, they decided to continue their stay in the country without any documents. Daughter Maria Amelie was everything but lazy in these eight years: she picked up a fluent Norwegian, got several jobs and even got an MA from the university of Trondheim and was involved in organizing different festivals as a volunteer. In September 2010 she went high profile and her first book Ulovlig norsk ('Illegally Norwegian') got published where she described her life as an illegal in the country with the aim to open people's eyes and draw the attention to the often hopeless situation of immigrants living in Norway without any papers.
|Maria Amelie, reading from her book Ulovlig norsk|
Already on the very same evening, people went out to the streets to protest against the laws that allow this to happen and trying to find the ways for the young author to stay in the country or at least to come back as soon as possible. However, it can take up to several years, given the fact that she doesn't have any papers to live legally in Russia, either. A group on Facebook has been established to set her free, 'liked' by over 88 000 people just within a few days.
Friday evening, Norway's Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg declared on a television interview: laws apply to everyone equally. Maria Amelie is at the moment in Trandum refugee center near Oslo... waiting for being sent back "home" to Russia. It can happen any time.