The Guardian: Australia’s Ambassador in Bangkok Calls on Thai PM to Directly Intervene in Hakeem Al-Araibi’s Case

2019-02-05 - 6:47 م

Bahrain Mirror: The British "The Guardian" newspaper said that Allan McKinnon, Australia's ambassador designate, called on the Thai Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-ocha, to directly intervene to ensure the footballer's release, after the prosecutor had confirmed he had executive powers to do so.

This came while speaking outside the court yesterday after Hakeem Al-Araibi's hearing.

Allan McKinnon, as well as delegates from other countries and embassies, watched Al-Araibi's hearding as a "coalition of support. The coalition included representatives of 14 countries and the European Union.

"We are asking Prime Minister Prayut to allow Hakeem Al-Araibi to return to Australia, he is a refugee, allow him to return to Australia to his friends and his family in the Australian community," he told reporters.

The Guardian stated that Federico Addiechi, head of sustainability and diversity at Fifa, also attended the hearing to show football's governing body supported Al-Araibi.

Addiechi said Fifa had made overtures to the football associations of Thailand, Bahrain and Australia but said "That problem is not with the football association in the two or three countries, the problem is elsewhere."

Thai authorities made the arrest on the basis of an Interpol red notice which was issued against the agency's own policies, which dictate they can't be issued against refugees on behalf of the countries they fled.

Within days the red notice was lifted, but Thai authorities instead pointed to an extradition request by Bahrain.

Thailand maintains it is following legal processes and its immigration chief, Surachate Hakparn, continues to refer to arrest warrants, despite the lifting of the red notice.

Bahrain, which has an extensively documented history of prisoner mistreatment, including an inquiry commissioned by the king which found a number of deaths in custody as a result, denies Al-Araibi faces danger.

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