Many in Asia look at the Middle East with a mixture of expectation of stable energy supplies, hope for economic opportunity and concern about a potential fallout of the region’s multiple violent conflicts that are often cloaked in ethnic, religious and sectarian terms. Yet, a host of Asian nations led by men and women, who redefine identity as concepts of exclusionary civilization, ethnicity, and religious primacy rather than inclusive pluralism and multiculturalism, risk sowing the seeds of radicalization rooted in the despair of population groups that are increasingly persecuted, disenfranchised and marginalized.
Thailand has freed a Bahraini refugee football player threatened with extradition since November 2018 following global pressure from athletes, sports federations, and rights groups. Hakeem Al-Araibi is a refugee whose detention and threatened deportation was a grave injustice. FIFA and the IOC deserve credit for applying their new human rights policies to help gain Al-Araibi’s release and his return home to Australia.
When the Bahraini government claimed there would be no threat to Hakeem al-Araibi’s life if the refugee footballer were extradited to his home country – citing the integrity of the kingdom’s judicial system – it would have been laughable were it not so tragic.
See also FFA Pledges Funds.
The arrest by Thai authorities of Mr. Al-Araibi, acting on an Interpol red notice arrest warrant issued despite the fact that he had been granted political asylum in Australia, raises questions about the effectiveness of Interpol safeguards against exploitation of its powers.
6 December 2018 – Tomorrow, former Bahraini football player, Hakeem AlAraibi, will be taken to Bangkok Criminal Court (Ratchadaphisek) as Thai immigration authorities decided to proceed with his extradition to Bahrain. AlAraibi was arrested on 27 November on the basis of a now-lifted INTERPOL arrest warrant issued at the request of Bahrain, despite AlAraibi being a recognised refugee in Australia.
Allegedly kidnapped, forty-three-year old Malaysian activist Amri Che Mat, a foreign exchange trader and mountain climber, has not been heard of since he went missing in November 2016.
The Perlis mufti admits to being part of a 20-member team who had gone to the activist’s house in 2015. SEPANG: Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin today launched an attack on Amri Che Mat, a day after the missing activist’s wife named his state fatwa office and Islamic authorities as among those she suspected of involvement in her husband’s disappearance.