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Australia: We did not issue red notice for al-Araibi

Australia: We did not issue red notice for al-Araibi

BANGKOK: The Australian Embassy in Bangkok released a statement today (Feb 7) stating that, contrary to recent reports, Australia never issued a Red Notice against refugee football player Hakeem al-Araibi who has been held in a prison in Bangkok since travelling to the country from Australia for his honeymoon in November 2018.


By The Phuket News

Thursday 7 February 2019, 05:45PM


Hakeem al-Araibi has been held in a Bangkok prison since November 2018. Photo: Bangkok Post

Hakeem al-Araibi has been held in a Bangkok prison since November 2018. Photo: Bangkok Post

The official statement read:

"Due to misreporting on the matter, the Australian Government would like to clear up confusion regarding the Interpol Red Notice issued against Hakeem Alaraibi.

Australia never issued a red notice against Mr Alaraibi.

This red notice was issued by Bahrain on 8 November 2018, shortly before Mr Alaraibi travelled to Bangkok.

The red notice should never have been issued because of Mr Alaraibi’s status as a protected refugee. This was a breach of Interpol’s regulations.

The Australian Government was not initially aware of this, and in line with Interpol procedure notified Thailand of Mr Alaraibi’s travel.

When the Australian Government became aware of the situation, we ensured the red notice was rescinded as soon as possible. This happened on 30 November, only three days after Mr Alaraibi arrived in Bangkok.

Australia is reviewing our procedures so that this does not happen again.

The Australian Government has said unequivocally on many occasions that Hakeem Alaraibi should be returned to Australia, where he is a permanent resident with protected status, as soon as possible."

The statement comes a day after Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) held a press conference (Feb 6), after issuing a statement saying:

“Thailand had previously not been aware of Mr Hakeem’s case and does not have any prejudice against him. Indeed, we would not have become involved in the issue had we not received the red notice alert from the Australian Interpol and the subsequent formal request by Bahrain for his arrest and extradition,” it said.

“It took several days after the arrival of Mr Hakeem, before the Australian authorities informed us that the red notice had been cancelled. By that time, legal proceedings in Thailand regarding Mr Hakeem had already started and could not be reversed,” it added. (See story here.)

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