Thailand: Throw out extradition case against refugee Hakeem Ali al-Araibi

As refugee footballer Hakeem Ali al-Araibi’s appeared in a Bangkok court today (4 Feb) as part of extradition proceedings, Katherine Gerson, Amnesty International’s Thailand campaigner, said:

“The Thai authorities should stop all proceedings relating to this absurd, cruel and cynical extradition request. It is well known that Hakeem survived torture in Bahrain and that his relatives continue to face persecution there. Hakeem and his wife have found sanctuary in Australia. He should not spend another day in detention and should be allowed home, to Melbourne, immediately.

“The Thai government should see that Bahrain’s sole motive is to further punish Hakeem for the peaceful political opinions he expressed. He is at grave risk of unjust imprisonment, torture and other ill-treatment if he is returned to Bahrain. Interpol rightly withdrew the ‘red notice’ for Hakeem, which was in breach of their own refugee protection policy. 

“This case has made global headlines and shocked the world. As they previously did for Saudi refugee Rahaf Mohammed, the Thai authorities now have a chance to show their commitment to protecting refugees by releasing Hakeem and tossing out Bahrain’s extradition request. To honour the request would blatantly violate international law.”

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