"Loghman Sawari arrived in Fiji with a genuine passport which was fraudulently obtained in Papua New Guinea" - Yogesh Karan, PS for the Office of the Prime Minister, Sugar Industry and Immigration
Fijileaks: UNHCR should hang its head in shame for being complicit in the deportation of Sawari without the due process of the law. Once Sawari had accused PNG of maltreating him, his personal safety should have been of prime consideration before any decision was made to deport him. Sawari's lawyer Aman Ravindra-Singh said the sudden arrest and deportation of an asylum seeker [Sawari] – without first assessing his claim for protection in Fiji – was an act of thuggery and work of hoodlums; he accused Khaiyum of being behind the deportation
Fijileaks: Australia pays PNG millions of dollars for the Manus Island Detention Centre to act like the SS Nazi Guards. In fact, Sawari was once beaten up by an PNG detention guard, ending up in hospital. His crime: he wanted an extra cake of washing powder. Just imagine if FLP leader Mahendra Chaudhry, after receiving $2million from Haryana, had agreed to relocate to Australia following the George Speight Coup (money one Harbhajan Lal claimed was for relocation to Australia) and the Australians had decided to send the Chaudhry family to Manus Island Detention Centre to process their refugee status. Sadly, Mahendra Chaudhry has been the most outspoken, calling for Sawari's arrest, and was satisfied that Sawari was arrested and deported to PNG, claiming Sawari could be a risk to Fiji's national security. The NFP and SODELPA were also parroting the national security chant. We are not suggesting that Sawari should have been granted asylum in Fiji. We are arguing that he should have been put through Fiji's immigration and judicial system
Loghman Sawari is the first refugee who had managed to get the hell out of Australia’s gulag on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. He had been locked up there as a child with adult asylum seekers.
"His [Sawari's] is a story that has all the elements of a film script: young man sent to tropical prison for fleeing his homeland [Iran]; recognised as a refugee; takes the chance and gets released. He can only go to Papua New Guinea, gets beaten up, goes to jail in one of the roughest countries on earth. The misery of his situation forces him to attempt suicide. He gets released and ends up back in detention. Then he once again agrees to be resettled in PNG. He manages to get himself to Port Moresby and on a flight out of there
[to FIJI] by lying about his identity."
Tasmanian Times, 31 January 2017
Ironically, Sawari was deported back to PNG by Fiji's Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum who himself
LIED on his visa application form
in a bid to try and sneak into the United States
Fijileaks: In one of the most revolting display of bigotry and political point scoring, all major political parties and their surrogates descended on Sawari like vile vultures, totally ignoring his long years of detention, beatings, and denial of basic human rights to someone who fled Iran, only to be locked up by Australia in its gulag on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. He was called all sorts of names including that he was a bloody Muslim Terrorist. The only person who displayed humanity was a native Fijian mother who took him in, informing the world:
"I took him in like he was my own son. I felt sorry for him when I saw him, he was so small. Then he told me that he was from Papua New Guinea, didn't have any family and was here for four months. My heart went out to him and I told him this is your home. You can call me nene and these are your brothers and sisters. He spoke in broken English, ate what we ate and was easy to live with."
Mrs Rauge Naikeli, Namotomoto Village, Nadi
Sawari might be jailed in PNG (again) but his spirit and cry for freedom and flight should be a poignant reminder to the bigots in Fiji and abroad that Exile is a song that only the singer can hear but Cry Freedom is a universal song that the world can and must share. As the late Nelson Mandela put it in his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom: "I was not born with a hunger to be free - I was born free." Like Sawari, even Mandela had secretly fled South Africa before he was captured and imprisoned for 27 years. Unlike Khaiyum and others, Sawari does not have IMMUNITY.
UNHCR should hang its head in shame for being complicit in the deportation of Sawari without the due process of the law
- Sawari is charged with falsifying passport documents, which can carry a jail term
- He is being held in police cells in the capital Port Moresby and will face court Monday
- UNHCR says it is "gravely concerned by the forced return" of Sawari
The 21-year-old refugee was placed on a flight to Papua New Guinea, where he was questioned for several hours by immigration officials at Jacksons International Airport in Port Moresby.
The deportation has been criticised by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Fiji's own Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission, which said the country had breached international human rights law.
Airport Police Station Commander Jerry Yawa told the ABC Sawari was charged with falsifying passport documents under the country's Passports Act, and was transferred to the cells at Waigani police station in Port Moresby.
Under the legislation, making false or misleading statements in order to obtain an identity document is punishable by an up to K10,000 fine ($4,102), and can include a prison term of up to six months.
Mr Yawa said Sawari had been given the opportunity to contact a local lawyer, and is expected to face court on Monday.
Port Moresby's Metropolitan Superintendant Ben Turi confirmed the information, and said more details would be made available next week.
Sawari's Fijian lawyer, Aman Ravindra Singh, said he was concerned for his client.
"I am in complete shock and devastated for Loghman Sawari at what has taken place after his illegal and forceful deportation from Fiji, I'm absolutely shocked," he said.
"The fault absolutely falls on the Fijian Government."
UNHCR 'profoundly concerned' for Sawari's welfare
In a statement released on Friday afternoon,
Fiji's attorney-general Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum said the decision to deport Sawari was made due to his failure to lodge an asylum application upon arrival in Fiji.
Sawari had been in the country for 10 days prior to his expulsion.
Mr Khaiyum said the Government was advised by the UNHCR that Sawari was "not recognised as a refugee under the UNHCR mandate", and that this was a factor in its decision.
However, the UNHCR said it was "profoundly concerned" for Sawari's welfare following his deportation, and that it had "sought assurances" from Fijian authorities that he would have access to asylum procedures.
"UNHCR deeply regrets that interventions to prevent Mr Sawari's forced return were not successful," it said in a statement.
"UNHCR has long called for refugees and asylum-seekers currently in Papua New Guinea to be moved to humane conditions outside of the country. Equally, UNHCR has urged that no refugees or asylum-seekers should be returned there."
Sawari, who had been living in the city of Lae in Papua New Guinea prior to travelling to Fiji, was one of the first Manus Island refugees to move onto the country's mainland for work.
In March last year, the ABC reported that he had left his building apprenticeship in the city and had been taken in by a church after becoming homeless.
Mr Khaiyum said Sawari had "flagrantly [violated] the law" by entering Fiji with false documents, adding the country remains fully committed to international refugee law. Source: ABC News, Australia