Hakeem al-Araibi, a professional soccer player who the Morrison Government has accepted as a refugee from Bahrain and who is a permanent resident of Australia, has been detained in Thailand while on holiday with his wife and is facing extradition to Bahrain, where he would face certain imprisonment and possible torture.

The ACTU joins our affiliate the Professional Footballers Association in calling on the Australian government to intervene and ensure that al-Araibi is not sent to Bahrain, which would constitute a clear example of refoulement according to the UNHCR.

The ACTU has written to the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand to the Commonwealth of Australia asking the Thai Government to uphold their own obligations and not extradite Mr. al-Arabi.

The Morrison government has an obligation under international law to ensure that Hakeem al-Araibi is allowed to leave Thailand and return to Australia.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:  

“The Morrison Government must do everything in its power to ensure the safety of a person it has accepted as a refugee and made a permanent resident.

“To allow Mr, al-Araibi to be sent back to Bahrain would be an appalling failure on the part of the Australian government to protect a person in its care from extraordinary harm.

“If the Morrison Government fails to protect Mr. al-Araibi then it is failing to uphold the most basic functions of a government, and failing to uphold its obligations in international law and before the international community.

“We demand immediate action to ensure that Mr. al-Araibi is not extradited to Bahrain and is allowed to leave Thailand and return to Australia.”