Responding to reports that Bahrain has submitted extradition papers for Hakeem al-Araibi with the Thai courts, Claire Mallinson, National Director of Amnesty International said:
“Official extradition papers being submitted over the weekend show that Bahrain are ramping up their efforts to extradite Hakeem despite ongoing global condemnation. If the extradition request is successful Thailand is potentially sending Hakeem to torture or death. That cannot happen.
“Australia has a long-standing positive relationship with Thailand, with important trade relationships, and more than half a million Australian tourists visiting Thailand every year. It is imperative that the Prime Minister now takes a stand for Hakeem and sends a message to Thailand and Bahrain that detaining an Australian resident, and a recognised refugee is wrong.
“The Bahrain interior minister has complained that ‘external interference in the internal affairs of Bahrain is unacceptable’. But what is really unacceptable is Bahrain’s continued reign of terror over anyone who dares defy the status-quo.
“Just this week Bahrain upheld a life-sentence against three opposition leaders on trumped-up charges. If Australian politicians were sent to prison simply for criticising the Prime Minister there would be national outcry, but these human rights breaches are occurring every day in Bahrain. The justice system in Bahrain has been shown time and time again to be politically motivated and fundamentally flawed. It is not just acceptable, but essential, that the international community hold Bahrain to account.
“Hakeem will not be safe in Bahrain and cannot be sent back. It’s time for the Prime Minister to step-up and ensure Hakeem is returned home to Australia”.