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Australian government demands Thailand release Hakeem Al-Araibi

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Australian government demands Thailand release Hakeem Al-Araibi | The Thaiger

“The actions of the Bahraini Government have put Thailand in a very difficult position.”

Australia officials are repeating their call that ex-Bahraini national footballer Hakeem al-Araibi, who is now facing a lengthy extradition process after an appearance in a Bangkok court yesterday, be returned to Australia immediately. They say that he is a legal refugee and a permanent resident of Australia.

“The Bahraini government knew very well that al-Araibi had lived in Australia since 2014,” Canberra officials say in a statement issued on behalf of the Australian ambassador to Thailand.

“During these four years, the Bahraini Government did not attempt to ask Australia about Hakeem at all or to request to send him back to Bahrain,” the statement said.

“However, as soon as Hakeem and his wife travelled to Thailand for their honeymoon, the Bahraini government expedited its coordination with the Thai government to have Hakeem arrested and commence extradition proceedings immediately.”

“The actions of the Bahraini Government have put Thailand in a very difficult position. In particular, during what is an important year for the people and country of Thailand.”

The statement was delivered to the media at the Criminal Court in Bangkok, where al-Araibi was facing extradition proceedings.

“Hakeem is a loved football player for Pascoe Vale FC and has football fans across the country. We hope that Hakeem will be able to go back to be with his family and his wife in the coming days.”

Al-Araibi has been in custody since November following Bahrain’s extradition request. He arrived to court yesterday in chains and prison garb and pleaded with reporters and football officials to help secure his freedom.

He was detained in November at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok en route to Australia after making a personal trip with his wife.

Thai police arrested him at the request of the Bahraini government, which had accused him of alleged involvement in a criminal offence in his home country in 2014, and had warrants issued for his arrest. Al-Araibi was given asylum in Australia in 2017 after fleeing his home country.

The Criminal Court has agreed to consider the extradition request for him to face trial in Bahrain, but the process will be a lengthy one.

SOURCE: The Nation



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Rescuers slam local police for lack of response after body found in Chao Phraya

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Rescuers slam local police for lack of response after body found in Chao Phraya | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: @Disater_TH

The Rama VII Bridge in Bangkok has long been a location where people have jumped to their death. But its location has also fallen between two jurisdictions and the nearby police argue over who is responsible for receiving and acting on reports on bodies in the river.

Yesterday, the body of an unidentified man was pulled from the Chao Phraya River at 2am Saturday but rescuers claim police refused to turn up until late morning.

Eventually, the rescuers sent the man’s body to the Police Hospital and registered the incident with the Bang Kruay police station in Nonthaburi.

The man was seen jumping from the Rama VII Bridge. That part of the river is located between Bangkok and Nonthaburi and police stations in the two provinces have been known to pass responsibility to one another when informed of bodies found on the river.

Officials of the Ruam Katanyu said they were alerted at 12.30am that a man was seen jumping from the Rama VII bridge.

Local people, who fished at the spot, said the saw the man drinking beer in the middle of the bridge before jumping. They said he was seen struggling in the water for awhile before he disappeared under water.

Scuba divers took about an hour to locate and retrieve the body. The body was put on the pier on the side of the Bang Kruay power plant of the Electricity Generating of Thailand pending a check by police.

The rescuers said they called the Muang Nonthaburi police station and Bang Kruay police station in Nonthaburi and Bang Pho police station and Boworn Mongkol police station in Bangkok at 2 am, but no police turned up.

Noppadol Si Thongkham, an official of the Ruam Katanyu Foundation, said 191 patrol police officers passed by later in the morning and they helped coordinate with some stations, but no police responded.

Noppadol said there have been similar problems at that area for years as police from nearby stations often passed the buck to other stations to inspect bodies.

Noppadol said sometimes a floating body has been tied to a pier for a day before police turned up.

If you or anyone you know is in emotional distress, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand 24-hour hotline: 02 713 6791 (English), 02 713 6793 (Thai) or the Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 (Thai).

Rescuers slam local police for lack of response after body found in Chao Phraya | News by The Thaiger Rescuers slam local police for lack of response after body found in Chao Phraya | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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Plastic surgery furore and first transgender contestant at Miss Universe in Bangkok

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Plastic surgery furore and first transgender contestant at Miss Universe in Bangkok | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Spain’s Angela Ponce becomes first trans woman to compete for Miss Universe

After the beauty dust has settled and the glitter is wiped away, it seems all is not well with the latest Miss Universe Pageant. Taking place in Bangkok recently, new revelations have surfaced surrounding one of its entrants and, notably, her plastic surgeon. 

Aesthetic and rhinoplasty surgeon, Froilan Paez, took to social media in order to post pre and post-op images of one of his clients. Displaying the fruits of his labor, former Miss Venezuela 2017 Stefany Gutierrez’s transformation was uploaded to Mr. Paez’s Instagram account. 

What looks like part of a ‘thank you’ posting, Mr. Paez tagged Venezuela’s most beautiful woman declaring her “a true diamond that knew whom to trust to get its best shine.” However, it appears that the beauty queen is not the first model to crop up in his particular feed. 

Delving a little deeper shows a host of ‘nose job’ patients who have gone under the knife, including those from previous beauty contests. Utilising various hashtags, it does seem that Miss Venezuela 2017 did undergo rhinoplasty before taking to the stage. 

Plastic surgery furore and first transgender contestant at Miss Universe in Bangkok | News by The Thaiger

Meanwhile, the event in Bangkok last December also saw the first transgender contestant take part. Miss Spain, Angela Ponce, who underwent gender re-assignment surgery has set pulses racing for different reasons. 

“Trans women have been persecuted and erased for so long. I’m showing that trans women can be whatever they want. I am proud to have the opportunity to use this platform for a message of inclusion, tolerance and respect for the LGBT+ community.” she said

Since 2012, The Miss Universe Organisation has lifted its ban on entry for transgender contestants which has raised awareness on the subject. With Catriona Gray from the Philippines taking victory, the Thai capital saw the Miss Universe contest beamed to nearly 200 countries across the world. The TV audience is just as great and usually attracts half a billion viewers every year.

Speaking to Thomson Reuters Foundation, Ponce explained that trans children often have to deal with mental health issues such as depression.

“I was born into a world, into a society which really wasn’t prepared for me. So many children face discrimination for being different. It is important to tell them they have a right to be who they are, who they want to be,” she added.

In fact, gender reassignment in Thailand has gathered pace as Darren Lyons of MyMediTravel explains;

“Thailand has long been considered at the forefront when it comes to transgender surgery. Gender-affirming surgery is firmly on the map with as many as three patients travelling to Thailand daily for this procedure.”

“This is coupled with a growing supply of highly trained surgeons utilising years of experience to provide low-cost medical care to overseas patients. What better way to relax and recuperate post-treatment than at a nearby resort moments from one of Thailand’s pristine shorelines.”

All of this comes against a large shift in Thai law as the country readies itself to pass a bill allowing same-sex unions. Consequently, they will become the first country across Asia to pass this specific law.

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BKK road racing crackdown: 78 arrested with illegally modified motorcycles

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BKK road racing crackdown: 78 arrested with illegally modified motorcycles | The Thaiger

“…those under 18 will be sent for an attitude adjustment in a military camp for seven days.”

Samut Prakan police have arrested 78 motorcyclists and seized 85 motorcycles allegedly modified for road racing.

Police staffed the checkpoints on major roads in Samut Prakan last night and into early this morning making the arrests.

Samut Prakan police chief Pol Maj Gen Nithithorn Jintakanon said 25 of the 78 arrested motorcyclists are under 18 and two of the 78 tested positive to drug abuses.

The alleged drug abusers will be sent for mandatory rehabilitation while those under 18 will be sent for an attitude adjustment in a military camp for seven days while the rest were fined, Nithithorn added.

Police also checked 26 motorcycle spare parts shops and found that one shop sold exhaust pipes that were illegally modified to make noises louder than allowed by the law. 21 illegally modified exhaust pipes were seized from the shop.

Police also found 18 big-bike motorcycles making noises louder than allowed by the law so they were prohibited from use for 30 days.

SOURCE: The Nation

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