Deported refugee still being held by airport authorities

The Iranian refugee deported from Fiji this morning is yet to be released by authorities at the arrival lounge at the Jacksons International Airport in Port Moresby.

The refugee arrived via Honiara at around 12:10pm today on an Air Niugini flight from Fiji. Media personnel are still waiting for the release of the refugee to question him since midday.

 It's hours now and still the authorities are yet to release him. It is understood that immigration officers are interrogating him. The refugee, Loghman Sawari, 21 from Iran fled to Fiji using a PNG passport and had misleading information on his Immigration Arrival Card.

According to Radio New Zealand International, Sawari was taken to the Nadi International Airport Departures Area after police and immigration intercepted the vehicle he was in with his lawyer, Aman Ravindra-Singh, this morning.

The pair were to meet with the Immigration Director Nemani Vuniwaqa. Oro Governor Garry Juffa asked Prime Minister Peter O’Neill during the Parliament’s Question Time on what actions the Government take to investigate such incident on Thursday.

However, O'Neill said he is not aware of the refugee.

“What action is taken to conduct an investigation and highlight the security breaches in this instances, what type of passport he used, I was informed that it was a Papua New Guinean passport," Juffa asked.

O’Neill responded: “This relates to a specific person and I am not aware of him even seeking PNG passport, and I will get the minister to investigate and get back to you and report to Parliament.”

More update to come.

Freddy Mou