Greens and ACTU Call for Inquiry into Australian Federal Police’s role in Al-Araibi’s Arrest

2019-01-22 - 11:47 م

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Greens and the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) say parliament should investigate Australian Federal Police's role in the detention of Bahraini refugee in Thailand, The Guardian newspaper reported.

A parliamentary inquiry should examine the actions of the Australian federal police which led to the arrest of Hakeem al-Araibi in Thailand, Australia's peak union body and the Greens have said.

"It's deeply disturbing that our own authorities would help a country to extradite an Australian resident when they are accused of torturing that person," said the ACTU president, Michele O'Neil.

She called for a parliamentary inquiry into the circumstances around his detention, and the role Australian authorities played in this awful situation.

O'Neil added "It's not acceptable for Australian government authorities to help repressive regimes get their hands on people they wish to torture and unfairly detain, and we need to make sure it never happens again."

Greens senator Nick McKim said his party would work collaboratively with Labor and crossbenchers to establish and conduct the ACTU's proposed inquiry.

"The handling of Hakeem's case by Australian authorities certainly warrants the scrutiny of the Senate," McKim told Guardian Australia, stressing that "Hakeem's life and liberty are at serious risk, and we need to get to the bottom of how this terrible situation came to pass."

Mark Dreyfus, the acting shadow minister for justice, would not comment specifically on whether Labor supported an inquiry, but said the opposition party was concerned about Al-Araibi and had joined calls for his release.

"We are focused on supporting the government's efforts to secure his return to Australia," Dreyfus said.

"The Thai government is well aware, at all levels, of the importance of this matter to Australia," a spokesman for Payne said.

He pointed out that "Embassy staff continue to make regular consular visits to Mr. Al-Araibi at the Bangkok remand prison and are in regular contact with prison authorities about his welfare. We note that there are legal proceedings underway in relation to Mr. Al-Araibi and Australia will continue to be in close contact with Mr. Al-Araibi's lawyer and Thai authorities in relation to the case."

Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marise Payne called on Thailand and Bahrain for Al-Araibi's release and conducted a visit to Thailand for this case.

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