8 Feb 2017

Human rights groups condemn Fiji for 'illegal' deportation

12:10 pm on 8 February 2017

Human rights groups in Fiji have condemned what they call the illegal and arbitrary deportation of a refugee from Iran seeking asylum in Fiji.

    Loghman Sawari in Fiji.

Loghman Sawari in Fiji. Photo: Behrouz Boochani

Loghman Sawari, who is 21, fled to Fiji from Papua New Guinea's Manus Island.

His and his lawyer were on their way to meet with Immigration in Suva on Friday to apply for asylum when he was stopped by police and put on a plane back to PNG.

The NGO Coalition on Human Rights' chair, Nalini Singh, said the Fiji Government's actions were underhanded and contravened Mr Sawari's rights under Fiji's Immigration Act.

"The state should allow Mr Sawari, or any other asylum seeker for that matter, an opportunity for due process - regardless of how they may have ended on our shores."

Mr Singh said Fiji's inhumane treatment of a vulnerable refugee does not bode well for its bid for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs