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Hakeem Al-Araibi’s Wife to the Australian “The Guardian”: He was Taken to Unknown Place

2018-12-04 - 8:48 am

Bahrain Mirror: News indicated on Monday (December 3, 2018) that Bahraini football player Hakeem Al-Araibi was transferred to unknown destination in Thailand after he was arrested in a place affiliated with the immigration ministry since about a week.

The Australian "The Guardian" stated that the Australian-based refugee who was arrested at Bangkok airport on November 27 was transferred to unknown place.

His lawyer, Latifa Al-Haouli told Guardian Australia Al-Araibi's wife, Naqaa Sateeh, said he was "taken" but didn't know where. She was only told "he will not return", the lawyer said.

He was later able to call his wife and told her he was in a prison near the airport and his travel documents had been taken from him.

The Australian department of foreign affairs would not comment on the development, reiterating its earlier statement that its Bangkok embassy officials were in "direct contact" with Thai authorities, but it could not comment further due to privacy.

The abrupt change came shortly after a tweet from Bahrain's embassy in Thailand which said "the suspect is wanted for security cases which the Embassy is aware of". The embassy said it was "following up with the relevant security authorities in this regard.

Hakeem Al-Araibi, an Australian-based refugee, was arrested at Bangkok airport last week on an Interpol notice issued at Bahrain's request.

Thai immigration authorities had told 25-year-old Al-Araibi on Sunday they would allow him to return to Australia on Tuesday if Bahrain had not sought his extradition by then.

He was told on Friday to book a flight home to Australia for Saturday night, but then on Saturday afternoon he was told he was no longer allowed to leave, and he was transferred from the airport to immigration detention.

Human rights defenders and activists called for the release of Al-Araibi, especially that he may be deported to his country, where he may be persecuted.

Human Rights Watch said that the Bahraini authorities arrested Al-Araibi and tortured him in detention, allegedly for his brother's political activities during 2011 protests.

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