Jump to content

'He is a free man' - refugee Bahraini footballer heads home to Australia

Recommended Posts

Al-Araibi walks free as Bahrain withdraws extradition request




Bahraini soccer player with Australian refugee status Hakeem Al-Araibi (C) walks while escorted by Thai prison officers following an extradition hearing at the Criminal Court in Bangkok, 04 February 2019. // EPA-EFE PHOTO


BAHRAINI fugitive footballer Hakeem al-Araibi, who was facing an extradition trial in Bangkok since his detention in November last year, yesterday walked free after his country decided to withdraw its extradition request.

Bahrain’s decision yesterday ended all judicial proceedings in the Thai court. Al-Araibi, 25, rejoined his wife who was with him when he was arrested at Suvarnabhumi Airport on November 27. They were about to visit Bangkok for a honeymoon trip when al-Araibi was arrested following an Interpol red notice initiated and then later cancelled by the Australian Interpol police.


Chatchom Akapin, director-general of the Attorney General’s International Affairs Department, said the Foreign Ministry had told his office yesterday morning that Bahrain wanted to withdraw the extradition request.


Following the development, his office resolved in a meeting that it would not proceed with the trial against al-Araibi. Chatchom’s office moved a petition before the Criminal Court, stating its intention to withdraw the case, which the court accepted. Thailand and Bahrain do not have an extradition treaty but an extradition is possible in the spirit of reciprocation and cooperation.


Bahrain claimed in its extradition request that al-Araibi faced a series of criminal charges reportedly during an uprising, including arson, illegal gathering and assaults, as well as possessing firearms and explosives. In 2014, a Bahraini court sentenced him to 10 years in prison in absentia for damaging a car.


Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry said yesterday it had learned about the withdrawal of the extradition case by the Thai side. However, the 10-year jail sentence on al-Araibi remained in place.


Al-Alraibi had the right to appeal the ruling, while the Bahraini government reaffirmed its right to pursue all necessary legal action against him.


It insisted that an arrest warrant was issued for him because he had jumped bail after being granted special permission to participate in a tournament in Qatar from where he fled to Iran. 


Al-Araibi has permanent residency in Australia and has lived there for five years. His arrest and detention by Thai authorities severely strained Australia-Thailand diplomatic ties. Since the arrest of al-Araibi hit global headlines, Canberra has been at the forefront of the demand for his immediate release, arguing that he was a refugee with Australian residency and therefore should not have been arrested to face an extradition trial.


Bangkok, however, argued that it was Canberra that had flagged the Interpol red notice about his visit to Thailand, which had alerted Bahrain and led to its request to Thailand to arrest him. By the time the “red notice” was withdrawn, extradition proceedings in the Thai court had already begun, according to the Thai side. Bilateral ties dived to a point where even Australia’s sporting organisations boycotted Thailand, including cancelling a football friendly scheduled to be held here in March, in protest over the detention.


Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai said that Thailand was caught in the middle of a conflict between Bahrain and Australia and it had nothing to gain from detaining the Bahraini. He had urged both countries to hold talks and find an acceptable solution. The tensions from the detention even played out on social network platforms. Those agreeing with Australia initiated the hashtag #SaveAkeem only to be countered by hashtag #SaveThailand.


Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30363952



-- © Copyright The Nation 2019-02-12

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Home??? Do you mean the country where they do not want any refugees? The country that informed Thailand in the first place? 

  • Like 2
  • Sad 4

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thailand releases Bahraini footballer




BANGKOK, 12th February 2019 (NNT) - Thailand has returned refugee Bahraini footballer Hakeem al-Araibi to Australia after authorities withdrew an extradition case against him.


Director of the International Affairs Department in the Office of the Attorney General, Chatchom Akapin said on Monday that the Bahraini government decided to end its pursuit of Hakeem who fled his homeland for Australia in 2014 and was later granted refugee status by the Australian government.


Bahrain’s decision led to the withdrawal of the extradition case against Hakeem.


He said the decision by Thai authorities was made under Section 21 of the Prosecution Act which allows for cases to be dropped if they are not in the public interest.


According to the latest report, Hakeem left Suvarnabhumi Airport on Thai Airways flight TG465 for the Australia city of Melbourne around midnight.


Thai authorities arrested Hakeem on November 27th, last year. The arrest was made after Bahrain issued an Interpol Red Notice for his detention on November 7. He was accused of vandalizing a police station in 2012.



-- nnt 2019-02-12

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes and lots of member saying I should know the facts about this case on another post that has been closed.bahrain has not issued an illegal Interpol red notice.no single country can.they apply to the general secretariat of Interpol who then vets and makes sure it complies with each case before publishing a red notice.so it isn't Bahrain who have messed up.the whole idea of Interpol is to find the whereabouts of a person and detain them as there whereabouts and status are unknown.if Bahrain had known he was in Australia they would of applied direct to them as they are doing now.how on earth Interpol would of known about his refugee status and where he was and his travel plans is just speculation by some members.so there was no illegal red notice.so now Bahrain has found out his whereabouts they have applied for his extradition which will be turned down for sure.

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bahraini footballer Hakeem al-Araibi arrives in Melbourne




Hakeem al-Araibi, a refugee Bahraini footballer who was released from a Thai prison, arrives in Melbourne, Australia February 12, 2019 in this still image taken from video. Australian Pool via REUTERS TV

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...