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Startseite Urgent Actions 2018 12 Bahraini refugee risks deportation Bahraini refugee at risk of forcible return
FI 206/18-1
Abgeschlossen am 20. Februar 2019

Bahraini refugee at risk of forcible return

AI-Index: ASA 39/9818/2019

Hakeem al Araibi, is a known footballer who was granted asylum in Australia after being tortured, detained and subject to an unfair trial in Bahrain. He has been detained by Thai authorities since 27 November, when he arrived in Bangkok on his honeymoon. Under international law, Thailand must not forcibly send him to Bahrain, where he faces a real risk of torture and other human rights violations. Thailand should immediately drop extradition charges, release Hakeem and allow him to return to Australia.


If deported to Bahrain, Hakeem faces imprisonment based on his prior unjust conviction and is in serious danger of torture and other ill-treatment. Hakeem has been outspoken about human rights violations in Bahrain since reaching safety in Australia. He has spoken out publicly about his torture in Bahrain, most notably in a 2016 interview with The New York Times, where his family name was spelled «al-Oraibi»:

Bahrain has a known record of detaining dissidents upon arrival at Manama International Airport. One of the most recent examples is that of Ali Mohamed al-Showaikh, who was deported by Holland on 20 October 2018. Ali Mohamed al-Showaikh was arrested at the airport and has been held in detention without meaningful access to an attorney since that date, in circumstances raising grave fears of ill-treatment.

Another case example involves Ali Ahmed Ibrahim Haroon, 21, a Bahraini national, who was forcibly returned to Bahrain from Thailand on 18 December 2014, in response to an Interpol notice raised by the Bahraini authorities. There are credible reports that he was tortured after he returned to Bahrain. According to Haroon’s family, both the Thai and Bahraini authorities physically assaulted him during the course of his detention in Thailand and forcible return to Bahrain. He had fled Bahrain in 2013 after being reportedly subjected to torture in detention there.

Thailand is bound by the international legal principle of non-refoulement, which prohibits the transfer of persons to any country or jurisdiction where they would face a real risk of serious human rights violations. Thai officials have repeatedly affirmed their commitment to the principle of non-refoulement and to ensuring its protection. Nevertheless, the Thai government has on several occasions acquiesced to pressure from other governments and forcibly returned people to countries where their lives and well-being are at serious risk.

This principle is protected in numerous international instruments, and has achieved the status of customary international law, binding on all states regardless of whether they have ratified the relevant treaties. The forcible return of persons to a country where they could face torture and other ill-treatment would also constitute a violation of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, to which Thailand is a state party.

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