3 Feb 2017

Fiji lawyer fears for deported asylum seeker's life

7:21 pm on 3 February 2017

The lawyer for an asylum seeker who was deported back to Papua New Guinea by Fiji police says he fears for the life of his client.

Loghman Sawari in Fiji.

Loghman Sawari in Fiji. Photo: Behrouz Boochani

Loghman Sawari had fled to Fiji from Papua New Guinea where he was detained on Manus Island by Australia.

The 21-year-old from Iran and his lawyer, Aman Ravindra-Singh, were on the way to meet with immigration officials in Suva this morning when their vehicle was intercepted by police.

Mr Ravindra-Singh said the police were aggressive and bundled Mr Sawari into a car.

He said his client was put on a plane back to PNG where he will return to a dangerous situation.

"He was feeling very hopeful today. To see the look of anguish and defeat in this young man's face was very heartbreaking. What I saw today was thugs in the form of police officers and immigrations officers at work."

Mr Ravindra-Singh said the incident had highlighted how the Fiji government had no respect for human rights or the rule of law.

Mr Sawari was taken into immigration custody just after 7.30am local time.

Mr Sawari entered Fiji on a forged PNG passport about two weeks ago and Fiji Village reported his Immigration Arrival Card contained misleading information.

PNG immigration officials have determined Mr Sawari to be refugee.

See the transcript of the interview with Aman Ravindra-Singh here