HR organizations: An open letter Hakeem Ali al-Araibi should be released and not deported to face grave risks in Bahrain

An open letter Hakeem Ali al-Araibi_070219

13An open letter
Hakeem Ali al-Araibi should be released and not deported to face grave risks in Bahrain

The Thai authorities have held in custody Mr. Hakeem Ali Mohamed Ali AlAraibi, a former footballer of Bahraini national team since 27 November 2018 upon his arrival with his wife for holidays in Thailand. The authorities claimed the arrest had been triggered by the INTERPOL’s Red Notice at the request of the Bahraini authorities. The Red Notice has since been rescinded, however, since it had been issued in breach of the INTERPOL’s policy which prohibits the issuance of Red Notice for refugees who have been wanted by a government and have fled from persecution from the requesting country.

After the arrest, Mr. Hakeen has been kept incarcerated at the Bangkok Remand Prison per the order of the Criminal Court since 11 December 2561 until now. On 4 February 2019, he was brought to the Criminal Court and was asked by the Court if he was willing to return to Bahrain per the extradition request filed by the public prosecutors of the Office of Attorney General’s International Affairs Department. Hakeem raised his objection against the extradition request. His attorneys have also pleaded to the Court asking for another 60 days to file an objection motion with the Court. Upon his arrival at the Court and as reported by media, he appeared with his feet shackled, the treatment of which could be tantamount to an infringement of human dignity since he has not committed a felony crime, has been granted a refugee status in Australia and has never committed any illegal offence in Thailand.

The undersigning organizations opine that;

1. The Thai authorities should consider not to deport Mr. Hakeen to Bahrain, the decision of which can be justified by at least two legal and human rights grounds;
1.1 As a general principle of extradition, Thailand’s Extradition Act, B.E. 2551 clearly provides that an extraditable offence shall not constitute political character. As it appears that Mr. Hakeen has been prosecuted in Bahrain as a result of an allegation related to his opposition to or criticism of the Bahraini government and his other alleged offences also constitute political character, therefore, it is not possible to have him extradited per the request of the Bahraini government.
1.2 Thailand has an obligation per the Non-Refoulement rule which is an important component of international customary law. It urges countries to refrain from deporting asylum seekers or any person to another territory where the person has reason to fear persecution, torture, or cruel treatment or life-threatening situation. The UN Convention Against Torture to which Thailand is a state party also prohibits deportation or extradition of a person to another country should there be credible fear that the person shall be subject to torture. Therefore, since it appears that Mr. Hakeen has been subject to torture and unfair trial in Bahrain, it is reasonable to believe that he could face such risks again including being tortured and being subject to cruel treatment if he is to be deported.
2. Assurance must be given to ensure a fair proceeding to Mr. Hakeen pending his extradition hearing per the Extradition Act in April 2019. Thailand’s proceeding must be arranged to respect and protect his rights and ensure he is to have a fair trial including his right to temporary release and presumed innocence and how he cannot be treated as an offender until proven guilty. These are fundamental rights of an alleged offender and are prescribed for in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)’s Articles 9 and 14 and the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand B.E. 2560’s Section 29.

The undersigning organizations/individuals have these following demands with regard to this case;

1. To mitigate further adverse impacts on Mr. Hakeen and to protect his right to presumed innocence, his application for bail should seriously considered or he should be subject to an alternative custodial arrangement.
2. As the extradition case against Mr. Hakeen is pending the trial of the Court, agencies involved with the justice process can play an important role to forge a solution. The public prosecutors are constitutionally obliged to uphold rights and freedoms of a person. Therefore, they may consider invoking Section 21 of the Public Prosecution Organ and Public Prosecutors Act, B.E. 2553 to withdraw the case against him since the prosecution will not serve public interest, affect national safety or security, or impair significant interest of the State The judiciary is also urged to make a ruling on this case based on human rights and non-refoulement principles since there is reasonable ground to believe the extradition request is based on an offence with political nature and it could have made the deportee vulnerable to grave dangers as he used to have one before.
3. The Thai government shall not proceed or support any attempt to send back Mr. Hakeen to face grave dangers in the requesting country and should allow him to return to Australia.

With respect in human rights and human dignity
7th February 2019

1. Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA)
2. Union for Civil Liberty (UCL)
3. Construction Materials Industry Labor Union
4. Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF)
5. Enlaw
6. Community Resource Centre (CRC)
7. People’s Empowerment Foundation (PEF)
8. Warm Healing Hands for Child Development Foundation
9. Forward Foundation
10. Foundation For AIDS Rights (FAR)
11. Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR)
12. Migrant Working Group (MWG)
13. Rangsit and Area Labour Union Group
14. Tang Jai Tham Law Firm
15. Duay Jai Group
16. Public Policy on Mineral Resources: PPM
17. Ecology and Culture Study Group
18. Mr. Ratsada Manooratsada Attorney
19. Mr. Surachai Trong-ngam Attorney
20. Ms. Koreeyor Manuchae Attorney
21. Ms. Sor Rattanamanee Polkla Attorney
22. Ms. Yaowalak Anuphan Attorney
23. Ms. Poonsuk Poonsukcharoen Attorney
24. Mr. Noraseth Nanongtum Attorney
25. Mr. Panom Butrakhiew Attorney
26. Mr. Thittasat Sutsaen Attorney
27. Mr. Kridsada Khunnarong Attorney
28. Ms. Waraporn Uthairangsi Attorney
29. Mr. Montree Atchariyasakulchai Attorney
30. Ms. Pityata Thanapitchai Attorney
31. Ms. Khunanya Songsamuth Attorney
32. Mr. Anon Numpha Attorney
33. Mr. Theeraphan Phankiri Attorney
34. Mr. Pichai Nuannapasari Attorney
35. Ms. Supatra Nacapew Attorney
36. Ms. Ubonwan Boonratanasamai Lawyer
37. Ms. Anyamanee Chaichomphu Lawyer
38. Mr. Sonthaya Khotpanya Lawyer
39. Mr. Bundit Homket Lawyer
40. Mr. Papob Siamhan Lawyer
41. Ms. Phattharanit Yaodam Lawyer
42. Ms. Issiyaporn Intapun Lawyer
43. Ms. Nijniran Awaphak Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Thaksin University
44. Mr. Songkrant Pongboonjun Academician, Faculty of Law,
Chiang Mai University
45. Ms. Anchana Heemmina Human Rights Defender
46. Ms. Hathaikan Renumat Human Rights Defender
47. Ms. Thanaporn Wichan Human Rights Defender
48. Ms. Wipawan Khoonthaweelapphol Human Rights Defender
49. Ms. Kornkanok Khamta Human Rights Defender
50. Mr. Bordin Saisaeng Institute of Human Rights and Peace
Studies, Mahidol University
51. Prof. Dr. Damkeng Tangthong Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Surin Rajabhat University
52. Ms. Sureerat Treemanka
53. Mr. Sakorn Songma
54. Mrs. Phairat Chantong
55. Mr. Natthawat Krittayanawat
56. Mr. Prapot Srithet
57. Ms. Benjaporn Bua-Samli

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