Thai Immigration received a formal request from Bahrain to extradite detained footballer

4 December 2018 – Thai immigration received today a formal request from the Bahraini authorities to extradite the detained footballer, Hakeem Al-Araibi, despite the lifting of the Interpol’s red notice on Al-Araibi.

The continued arrest of Al-Araibi has no legal bases after the Interpol’s red notice was lifted. Thus, Al-Araibi should be allowed to return to Australia.

Yesterday, a Thai court approved a temporary remand to detain Al-Araibi for 12 more days in Bangkok. He has been detained since 27 November 2018, upon his arrival to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Al-Araibi is facing deportation to Bahrain, although returning registered refugees to territories where they would face a real risk of persecution, torture, or other ill-treatment violates Thailand’s obligations under international law.

Commenting, Yahya Alhadid, the President of Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights (GIDHR), said: “there is no explanation for continuing to detain Hakeem Al-Araibi. Thai authorities said he was arrested on the basis of Interpol’s red notice, and that notice was lifted. He should be allowed to board the first flight to Australia. We call on the Thai government to do the right thing to protect its reputation in front of the international community.”

“We are working along with a number of human rights organisations and activists, including Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network and Refugee Council, from the very first day of Hakeem’s arrest trying to put the maximum pressure on the Thai government to resolve this case,” he added.