Fiji authorities unaware as Iranian refugee slips into Nadi

This photo of Sawari was taken outside the Jacks of Fiji store in Nadi. Image: Behrouz Boochani/Fiji Newswire

An Iranian national slipped into Fiji using false documents last week and is seeking asylum after being a refugee on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea for more than three years.

Loghman Sawari, 21, fears persecution and fled to Fiji out of fear for his safety.

Sawari is believed to have boarded a plane to Nadi using false documentation using money gathered over time from varied sources.

The Iranian has been taken in by a family in Nadi and has retained the services of lawyer Aman Singh who did not wish to comment due to the sensitive nature of Sawari’s case.

Sawari has been in constant contact with overseas media and has reportedly visited many places in Nadi.

He told Radio New Zealand that he would meet immigration officials on Monday:

“I like Fiji people because they smile and they respect; I don’t know much about Fiji. I don’t know what the government will be saying about me. I don’t want a rich country, or United States or another country. I need just a simple life for myself.”

Manus detention centre illegal
Sawari had told Australian media that he would surrender himself to immigration officials and seek asylum under international conventions.

However, immigration officials were still waiting for Sawari to turn up.

Immigration Director Nemani Vuniwaqa confirmed he would make further comments after meeting Sawari.

Fiji has taken in refugees before and is required to do so under international conventions.

A Supreme Court ruling in Port Moresby in April last year declared the Australian-contracted detention centre on Manus Island illegal.

About 850 male detainees were being held there at the time.

Arrest call by Labour leader
Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry told The Fiji Times police should arrest Sawari for entering the country illegally and the Immigration Department should review their border security checks at our borders.

“That is the normal procedure because we have to determine for ourselves the real identity of this Loghman Sawari and establish who he really is and how he managed to escape from Papua New Guinea, obtain an air ticket and travel to Fiji,.”

Staff reporter for Fiji Newswire.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email