Human Rights NGO Coalition Condemns Fiji Deportation

Coalition Chair: the refugee 'should have been given an opportunity to present himself for proper immigration process as he had been intending to do'

By Nasik Swami

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, February 05, 2017) – The Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Coalition on Human Rights has condemned the arbitrary and illegal deportation of Iranian Refugee, Loghman Sawari.

Coalition chair Nalini Singh said Fiji had signed the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (1951) and the 1967 Protocol, and as such, the State should allow Mr Sawari or any asylum seeker for that matter an opportunity for due process regardless of how they may have arrived on our shores.

"Section 6 of the Immigration Act (2003) states the procedures to seek asylum; therefore, Loghman should have been given an opportunity to present himself for proper immigration process as he had been intending to do today," Ms Singh said.

She said Fijian authorities' abrupt actions on Friday morning had further endangered the psychological wellbeing of an individual who was already dealing with psychosocial trauma.

"The safety and wellbeing of an individual must be paramount regardless of their status in the country.

"The inhumane treatment of a vulnerable refugee by Fiji authorities does not bode well for Fiji, which aspires to be elected on to the UN Human Rights Council."

Amnesty International refugee co-ordinator Graham Thom said the young man should not have been arrested.

"Amnesty International has grave concerns about Loghman Sawari's wellbeing, following reports he was allegedly beaten and forcibly removed from Fiji this morning in a distressing and aggressive manner," he said.

"What we need to see now is the Australian Government step up and immediately bring him to safety here in Australia.

"His case is extreme and he simply cannot be sent back to languish in Australia's cruel facilities on Manus Island."

Fiji Times Online.
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