Sawari awaits bail decision in PNG

6:58 pm on 14 February 2017
    Loghman Sawari in Fiji.

Loghman Sawari in Fiji. Photo: Behrouz Boochani

Loghman Sawari, a refugee from Iran who was deported from Fiji early this month, is to spend another night in custody in Papua New Guinea after yet another court delay.

Mr Sawari was charged with falsifying passport documents after he was forced back to PNG on 3 February.

A bail hearing was due to be heard for the 21-year-old on Tuesday, but that was adjourned until Wednesday afternoon after the presiding magistrate's decision was affected by technical issues.

The prosecution has opposed bail on the grounds that Mr Sawari is a flight risk.

It also told the court that Mr Sawari should be kept in prison, or flown back to Manus Island, where he was detained for years by Australia for seeking asylum by boat, to be tried at a court there.

Mr Sawari's lawyer, Loani Henao, said bail was a right under the constitution and it would be inappropriate to send his client back to a detention centre which had been declared illegal by the Supreme Court.

The United Nations refugee agency has expressed concern for Mr Sawari's welfare, while Fiji has been criticised for deporting a man seeking asylum.

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