4 Dec 2006

UNHCR says it working to find a country to take last Iraqi refugee from Nauru

9:21 pm on 4 December 2006

A Scandinavian country has accepted an Iraqi refugee held in Nauru detention for more than five years.

Mohammed Sagar and another Iraqi man, Muhammad Faisal, were taken to a processing centre on Nauru five years ago and although they have been declared genuine refugees, they are considered by Australia to be national security risks.

Mr Sagar's resettlement was negotiated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, or UNHCR, and a spokesperson, Ariane Rummery, says the commission is happy to announce the agreement.

"I am very pleased to confirm that the UNHCR has been able to find a resettlement country in Scandinavia to accept Mr Sagar and let him go on with his life."

Ms Rummery says the country cannot be disclosed, but Mr Sagar is expected to leave Nauru before Christmas.

She adds no agreement has been reached yet for Mr Faisal, who was transferred to Australia for psychiatric care in August after becoming suicidal on Nauru.

But she stresses that the commission is working on it.