An Iranian refugee who set himself on fire at Australia's immigration detention camp on the Pacific island nation of Nauru has died of his injuries.

The 23-year-old man set himself alight on Wednesday in an apparent protest over Australia's strict asylum seeker policies. Australia's immigration department said he died in an Australian hospital on Friday after being airlifted there for treatment.

Nauru's government says the refugee's actions were a protest intended to coincide with a visit to the island by representatives of the U.N. refugee agency.

Australia refuses to accept asylum seekers who try to reach its shores by boat and pays Nauru and Papua New Guinea to hold them in detention camps instead.