Bahraini refugee Hakeem Al-Araibi could be extradited by Thailand amid protests

by Garry Watts February 6, 2019, 8:26
Bahraini refugee Hakeem Al-Araibi could be extradited by Thailand amid protests

An initial court date of April 22 has been set for the case with no bail made available.

Jailed Bahraini footballer Hakeem Al Araibi arrives at Thailand's Criminal Court to submit his evidence to fight his extradition, after a local prosecutor submitted Bahrain's extradition request for him, in Bangkok, Thailand February 4, 2019.

He was arrested at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport after Interpol falsely issued a "red notice" - an worldwide arrest warrant - which is not supposed to be given to refugees.

Araibi, who fled Bahrain in 2014 before being granted permanent residence in Australia, where he played for Melbourne's Pascoe Vale soccer club, was arrested on an Interpol notice issued at Bahrain's request.

Al-Araibi is wanted by Bahrain for allegedly vandalising a police station during anti-government protests.

"Please don't send me back to Bahrain", al-Araibi reportedly shouted as he entered the courtroom.

"I think the facts of this case are a very simple one".

Al Araibi was detained upon his arrival in Bangkok in November while on a holiday, and subsequently was held pending the completion of the extradition request by Bahrain.

The detention of a recognised refugee such as Hakeem sends the message to the world that Thailand is "not safe for refugees", said Human Rights Watch's Phil Robertson.

NY woman trapped in elevator rescued by FDNY after three days
According to a Stephens family statement, she was dehydrated but is now in a stable condition at a private medical centre in NY . A woman was rescued on Monday after being trapped in the elevator of a billionaire's Manhattan townhouse for an entire weekend.

At the court session in Bangkok, former Australian football captain Craig Foster showed up - along with other supporters - to show solidarity with the asylum-seeking footballer.

Human rights groups have accused Bahrain of arresting family members of opposition supporters.

Al Araibi's case has drawn global attention and condemnation from his supporters who say he risks being tortured if returned to Bahrain. "And therefore under worldwide law, he should not be a subject of these proceedings", he said.

"The Thai government should see that Bahrain's sole motive is to further punish Hakeem for the peaceful political opinions he expressed", Amnesty International Thailand campaigner Katherine Gerson said in a statement.

Bahrain says he vandalized a police station, a crime alleged to have occurred while AlAraibi was playing a televised football match. He fled to Australia where he was granted refugee status in 2017. He said he believed he was targeted for arrest because of his Shia faith and because his brother was politically active in Bahrain.

Al-Araibi claims his imprisonment is Shaikh Salman taking revenge after he openly criticised the FIFA vice-president, who unsuccessfully ran for the top job at world football's governing body in 2015.

He was given 60 days to prepare a defence against Bahrain's attempt to have him returned from Thailand.

Australia has been vocal in calling for Al-Araibi's release, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison writing a letter to Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, telling reporters last week that Australia is "pushing on every door" to ensure Thailand releases him, according to SBS news.

Bahrain has rejected calls by human rights bodies, including one by the United Nations to free prominent activist Nabeel Rajab, who is being held in jail for posting "false tweets which do not fall within freedom of expression".

Recommended News

TOP News

Alibaba profit up 37% but revenue growth eases
Alibaba's quarterly revenue was driven by the growth in its core commerce and cloud computing. Alibaba's stock was up more than 6 percent at market close on Wednesday.

Trump to Call on Democrats to ‘Heal,’ and Bashes Pelosi Over Wall
He questioned whether the US should have invaded Afghanistan in 2001 under the administration of former President George W. Bush to destroy al-Qaida training grounds after the terrorist group's attacks on the USA killed almost 3,000 people.

The Three Crunch Clashes That Will Define Manchester United's Season
Speaking to Manchester United's website , Herrera said: "We shouldn't go insane with the [Premier League] table". There are no two ways about it - Manchester United have been phenomenal under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer .

Neymar out for 10 weeks, misses Man United clash
He underwent an operation, performed by Lasmar, and returned just in time for the World Cup in Russian Federation last June. PSG travel to Old Trafford for the first leg of their last-16 tie on 12 February, with the return on 6 March.

Millions of People Watched the Fortnite Marshmello Concert
Until the others unlock, that leaves you to merely track down a showtime poster. " Fortnite " and Marshmello are collaborating. Earlier today, Fortnite hosted the highly-anticipated Marshmello concert at Pleasant Park , and it was a hit.

Super Bowl Odds 2019: Patriots Favorite to Beat Rams
At +2.5, the Rams have the third-shortest odds of any underdog going into the Super Bowl since the turn of the Millennium. Who is in Super Bowl LIII? Adam Kilgore from The Washington Post joined CBSN to preview Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta.

European nations back Venezuelan opposition leader
Over the weekend, he called on the army to allow in humanitarian aid from the United States via neighboring Colombia and Brazil. The 14-nation Lima Group - made up of Canada and Latin American countries - meets in Ottawa on Monday.

Venezuela's Guaidó Calls on Military to Reject Maduro
On Saturday, Maduro said he was willing to sit down for talks with the opposition in an effort to promote national "harmony". Although Arellano, along and his wife Mayra Lopez, left a year ago, they say the problems back home have only gotten worse.

Harris emerges as frontrunner to oust Trump as rivals circle
Kamala Harris' slogan for her 2020 presidential campaign is quite a familiar one for Central Floridians: "For the People". Cory Booker of New Jersey, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Bernie Sanders of Vermont may also run.

Apple FaceTime bug allows people to eavesdrop on your iPhone, Mac
The caller can then eavesdrop on the person being called , and in some demonstrations even watch them through the camera app. She also uploaded a video on YouTube demonstrating the flaw on January 25, which she sent to Apple multiple times.