Publicado: Sáb, Febrero 09, 2019
Global | Por Milagro Delgado

Australia cancels Thailand game in refugee campaign

Australia cancels Thailand game in refugee campaign

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne reiterated her government's call for the Thai government to release al-Araibi so he can return home to Australia.

The Thai attorney-general's office told reporters on Wednesday that with extradition requests, bail would be opposed.

Trumph Jalichandra, who is also a deputy secretary-general of the Office of the Attorney-General, said his office received a request from the Bahraini government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Dec 3 a year ago for the extradition of Hakeem al-Araibi, who fled criminal charges related to the 2011 Arab Spring protests against Bahrain's government.

Bahraini Hakeem al-Araibi, center, leaves the criminal court in Bangkok, Thailand, Bangkok, Thailand, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.

Thai authorities said at a news conference Wednesday that after detaining the 25-year-old al-Araibi on his November arrival in Bangkok, they received a direct request from Bahrain for his extradition, compelling them carry out court hearings. "Bahrain won't defend me".

Former Australian football captain Craig Foster along with a group who has been campaigning for Araibi's release were present at the court to lend support to the embattled player.

"Hakeem's case is different from Rahaf Mohamed Alqunun from Saudi Arabia's case because Hakeem had an arrest warrant out for him, but she did not". All of Australia is with you.

"If you look at the number of foreign defendants, they pay their bail and jump bail and then don't show up in court", Chatchom Akapin, the office's director general for worldwide affairs, said, adding that the policy applied "not only to Hakeem".

Former Australian national team player Francis Awaritefe, who is a vice-president of the global footballers' union FIFPro, told CNN outside the courtroom on Monday: "Hakeem is a refugee". He had been living in Melbourne, where he plays semi-professional football.

Hakeem al Araibi was convicted in absentia on charges of vandalising a police station in Bahrain.

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Thailand on Wednesday defended its arrest of a Bahraini footballer with refugee status in Australia, saying officials only detained him because Australian authorities sent an Interpol "red notice" after he boarded a plane to Bangkok.

Al-Araibi has said he was blindfolded and had his legs beaten while he was held in Bahrain previously.

Referring to the 2008 Extradition Act, the coalition said that Al-Araibi should not be deported as extraditable offences should not be of a "political character".

The Bahraini government insists that he should be treated as a simple fugitive and will have an opportunity to appeal his conviction in the country's courts.

He says he faces torture and possible death in Bahrain.

Al-Araibi will stay in custody until a court begins hearings on April 22 on his extradition case.

According to the Guardian, coach Graham Arnold said Australian national teams stood with al-Araibi, who faces another two months in a Thai jail before discovering his fate.

"We continue to call on the Thai prime minister to show some mercy".

"Thailand need to stop shirking responsibility for the major part they have played in this atrocious breach of a recognised refugee's human rights and make the right decision".

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