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“Australian ‘red notice’ led to the arrest of Hakeem al-Araibi”

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PHOTO: South China Morning Post

“Australia issuance of an Interpol red notice for former Bahraini footballer Hakeem al-Araibi that led to his arrest in Thailand”. This revelation from Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai.

Bahrain, which issued an arrest warrant after finding him guilty of criminal charges in 2014, learnt about his overseas trip and requested Thailand to detain him, Don said.

Al-Araibi was arrested at Suvarnabhumi Airport on November 27 after a honeymoon trip with his wife while reportedly en route to Australia, where he was granted residency about four years ago.

A Thai Criminal Court agreed on Monday to consider Bahrain’s request to extradite him to face jail term.

Meanwhile, the Thai PM Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters not to “jump to conclusions” regarding the verdict of detained refugee footballer Hakeem Al-Araibi.

Breaking his silence for the first time since Mr Al-Araibi’s arrest, the PM said Thailand was working with Australia and Bahrain to find a solution.

“Do not jump to conclusions about the verdict and do not politicise this. In the meantime, the Foreign Ministry is coordinating with the two countries, both Australia and Bahrain to find a solution for this issue,” he told reporters at a news briefing.

Since the arrest of al-Araibi hit global headlines, Australia has been at the forefront of the demand for his immediate release, arguing that he was a refugee with Australian residency and therefore should not be arrested and face an extradition trial.

“The Interpol’s red notice issued by Canberra on al-Araibi reached the Thai side before he arrived here. Interpol was very quick and we arrested him at the request of Bahrain,” said FM Don yesterday.

Thailand now finds itself caught in the middle of this conflict. A solution would be for Australia and Bahrain to sit down and talk, he said.

“Thailand is willing to help facilitate the talks if both sides agree to settle the matter through negotiations. One way out would be to send him to a third country,” Don said.

SOURCES: The Nation, Australia’s SBS

 

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