Pacific

Fiji forces Iranian refugee back to Papua New Guinea

Fiji has outraged rights groups by forcing an Iranian refugee back to Papua New Guinea where he had spent more than three years under Australia's tough asylum seeker policies and where he said he fears persecution.

Lawyer Aman Ravindra-Singh says Loghman Sawari flew to Fiji last week to apply for a protection visa but was deported on Friday before he could lodge that application.

Fhe Fijian government says Sawari had been legally obliged to apply for political asylum without delay and he had failed to do so during his 10 days in Fiji.

The 21-year-old would have become the first asylum seeker to apply for protection from a country where Australia has been banishing refugees for more than more than three years despite United Nations objections.