1 February 2019 – Hakeem Al-Araibi’s lawyer, Nadthasiri Bergman, told the Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights (GIDHR) that Thai prosecutors asked the Criminal Court to approve his extradition request for consideration. Bahrain had submitted the official extradition request on 18 January 2019.
Al-araibi will be referred before the court on Monday morning to ask him if he wants to be deported to Bahrain. If he says “no”, his detention will be extended to 60 more days until both parties prepare their defence.
GIDHR sources reported that Thai prosecutors asked the court to approve the request, despite the non-existence of a mutual extradition treaty between the 2 countries, because Bahrain promised reciprocal treatment of Thais in the future. The prosecutors opposed Al-Araibi’s temporary release because they considered him a flight risk.
The information, also, indicated the possibility of approving the extradition request, as Al-Araibi’s offences are illegal under the Thai law, and are not political or military offences.
Commenting, Yahya Alhadid, the President of the Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights (GIDHR), said: “Thailand’s decision to consider the Bahraini extradition request is a failure for the Thai justice. Exposing an individual to the risk of sending him back to a country which he fled and might face torture is a violation for the international human rights covenants.”
“We call on the Australian Government to consider Australia’s economic and political ties with Thailand, as the latter are not respecting Australia’s demands to release Hakeem. We also urge the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres to immediately interfere in Hakeem’s case as they did in the case of the Saudi lady Rahaf Al-Qunun,” Alhadid added.
“We, also, urge the international community to take serious and immediate action to halt the extradition procedures and use all the powerful tools to put the maximum pressure on Thailand and allow Hakeem’s safe return to Australia,” Alhadid continued.