Marie Amelie was arrested just after a lecture at the Nansen Academy in Lillehammer, where she had a speech on her controversial book "Ulovlig norsk"(Illegal Norwegian) and about her situation as an unregistered in Norway.
Since 2003, Amelie was living in Norway without bank account, and other identity documents. Nevertheless, she completed high school with good grades and had a master's degree from Norwegian university, NTNU.
She has also been tour manager for rock band Bigbang and responsible for thousands of volunteers on Slottsfjellfestivalen for several years. In December 2010, the Norwegian weekly news magazine Nytid declared her as "Årets nordmann" (Norwegian of the Year) by writing:
"Amelie was born in the Caucasus and for the last eight years she has been living illegally and still lives at an undisclosed address in Norway. Although she has lived in the country for only eight years, she has earned a university degree from NTNU and has written a book with a perfect Norwegian…She would change our lives, knowing that she also put her own life in danger by writing such a book."
I am ashamed of being Norwegian
Rector of the Nansen Academy, Dag Hareide said that Amelie had talked to a large group about the undocumented immigrants' situation in Norway at the opening of the Nansen year. Hareide also reported she went out with a group of students and assaulted by a group of policemen.
– I am ashamed to be Norwegian, and think Nansen year has now been destroyed" said the rector, Dag Hareide to NTB.
On the other hand, Rune Berglund Steen from Anti-Racist Center stated they are in shock as the police came and took her without giving any explanation. Steen also suggested that this arrest abolishes the immigrants and asylum seekers' freedom of speech in practice.
This is 'absurd'
Immigration Policy spokesman from Socialist Left Party (SV), Heikki Holmås also reacted strongly to the arrest.
– There is complete lack of coherence in immigration policy. One day, we complain about lack of expertise and skills among immigrants and the next day, we arrest and throw out immigrants with the skills we require. She would be an asset for us, " said Holmås to NTB.
Holmås also suggested that the most absurd part of this case is that she, under normal circumstances could apply for residence in Norway from Russia, since she has specialist expertise.