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Human error and outdated IT led to Hakeem al-Araibi's detention, says Australian border force official

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Human error and outdated IT led to Hakeem al-Araibi's detention, says border force official

Australian Border Force boss Michael Outram admits it was within his own organisation ‘where the process broke down’

Helen Davidson

 

An individual border force officer forgetting to send an email likely led to the refugee Hakeem al-Araibi spending almost three months in a Thai prison fighting off Bahraini attempts to have him extradited.

 

The head of the Australian Border Force, Michael Outram, told Senate estimates it was within his own organisation “where the process broke down” and Al-Araibi was allowed to board a flight to Thailand, unaware he was walking into the waiting arms of Thai and Bahraini authorities.

 

Outram apologised for the border force’s error but not for Al-Araibi’s detention, saying he couldn’t state that the error was the sole cause, or that Al-Araibi would not have been detained anyway.

 

Full story: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/feb/18/human-error-and-outdated-it-led-to-hakeem-al-araibis-detention-says-border-force-official

 

-- The Guardian 2019-02-20

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Amnesty Australia seeks inquiry over ‘monumental’ error in al-Araibi case

By MARISA CHIMPRABHA 
THE NATION

 

ef545005caac6734850f0ec6ad1e3343.jpeg

Footballer and refugee Hakeem al-Araibi (L) and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (R) shake hands during a meeting at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, 14 February///EPA-EFE

 

AMNESTY International Australia has called for the Australian government to conduct an independent investigation into what it called “a monumental mistake” that led to the much-publicised arrest and detention of a former Bahrain national footballer in Thailand.

 

The group’s call was in response to comments from Australian Border Force (ABF) commissioner Michael Outram on Monday that “human error” in his forces had led to Hakeem al-Araibi, a refugee with Australian residency, being detained for more than two months in a Thai jail and facing the threat of extradition to his native country.

 

“It is absolutely unacceptable that Hakeem, a completely innocent man supposedly under the Australian government’s care, was detained for 76 days in Thailand in fear for his life simply because someone at Border Force forgot to send an email,” Amnesty International Australia’s Tim O’Connor said.

 

The Australian government must conduct an independent investigation into this “monumental mistake” that caused a young man and his family months of heartache and could have cost them much more had he been sent back to Bahrain, he said.

 

The government must ensure that no other refugee is ever put in this situation again, O’Connor said. The results of any investigation must be made public immediately, and systems put in place to ensure no other person would suffer as Hakeem and his family did, he added.

 

“Human error must never again result in someone’s life being endangered,” he said.

 

Thailand faced blame and severe criticism over the arrest of al-Araibi on November 27 at Suvarnabhumi Airport, when he and his wife arrived here on a honeymoon trip.

 

Thailand effected the arrest on a request from Bahrain, which was alerted about al-Araibi’s trip through an Interpol red notice posted by Australia. Bahrain then sought his extradition over charges he faced in his country, which led to an extradition trial and resulted in him being detained in jail until this month.

 

The Australian government was at the forefront of repeated calls for the Thai government to release al-Araibi although the case was being heard by a Thai court. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison stepped up pressure by twice writing to his Thai counterpart, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, to free the Bahraini.

 

Australia’s sporting organisations protested the arrest and one of them cancelled a friendly football match scheduled to be held in Thailand. Amnesty International Australia also condemned Bangkok, demanding that the 25-year-old Bahraini be freed immediately.

 

Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai insisted that it was an Australian Interpol alert that had led to Bahrain requesting al-Araibai’s extradition. Morrison denied the information.

 

Al-Araibi was eventually released on February 11 and returned to Australia after Bahrain dropped its extradition request following a visit to the Gulf country by Don to discuss the issue.

 

According to Australian media, ABF commissioner Outram said his officer failed to send a notification to Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Department of Home Affairs, which would have alerted them to the fact that al-Araibi was on a protection visa in Australia.

 

That fact, once revealed to the AFP the day after al-Araibi was arrested in Thailand, prompted Interpol to withdraw the “red notice” issued at the request of Bahrain. Had it been known to the AFP beforehand, the AFP-based Interpol team would not have issued the notice.

 

The email notification is a manual, not automatic, process, Outram told a Senate inquiry on Monday night that “having reviewed the circumstances surrounding al-Araibi, it is clear that human error occurred within the [border force] process”.

 

Outram conceded that the mistake made by the border force had directly resulted in the AFP informing Thai authorities that a red notice existed for al-Araibi. “The officer in this case forgot to send an email. It’s as simple as that,” he said. However, he declined to apologise to al-Araibi, saying his detention could have occurred by some other means too, such as direct contact between Bahrain and Thailand.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/breakingnews/30364492

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation 2019-02-21
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You need to read it again. Thai actions as a result of Australian Border Patrol incompetence. Seems both at fault.

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25 minutes ago, Snow Leopard said:

How old is the Australian IT system if someone can't send an email. 

Probably on a " Rostered Day Off " and forgot to send it when they came back to work.

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1 hour ago, grumbleweed said:

Oh dear! Anything the Thais can do we can do better

Tell me again: Which country is like Burma with electric?

 

Sorry my Ozzie friends, couldn't resist. But I know, like your superior Brit cousins, you can take a joke at your expense, unlike the Uranus Sanctimonious lot

Never a chance miss to drag the US into your nonsense. It reveals a character defect that is owned by you...thank goodness.

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Thaïs incompetence needless to say, I wonder if they received a bribe from Barhain 🤔

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1 hour ago, Snow Leopard said:

How old is the Australian IT system if someone can't send an email. 

If this was the case - No problem to send but problem to receive ... :coffee1:

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48 minutes ago, British Bulldog said:

Amazing that a persons life can hang on such a thin thread .... what if the person concerned did in fact send the email and it disappeared into black hole as have many of mine ... you'd think a more secure and double/triple check system could be put in place and not leave it down to one individual and 1 email .... sheesh !

Excellent point regarding a (near) fool-proof system.

 

Maybe a hi-tech system should be in place - like farcebook, whatsupp, and twitter - even a 5 year old can handle this complicated technology 😁

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1 hour ago, klauskunkel said:

Could have, would have, should have..., but it didn't. Apologize to the guy.

An apologize for Thai's means admitting wrongdoing - admitting wrongdoing means loss of face - so better to deny ... :coffee1:

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