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Hakeem al-Araibi: extradition proceedings against refugee begin amid Australian protests

Author: Helen Davidson, The Guardian (UK), Published on: 1 February 2019

The extradition hearing for Hakeem al-Araibi has been forwarded to the Thai courts as advocates call for Fifa and the International Olympic Committee to threaten sanctions against Thailand and Bahrain, including suspending their memberships, over the continued detention of al-Araibi...The 25-year-old has been in detention in Bangkok for 66 days after he was arrested on an Interpol red notice...

“We want to see both Thailand and Bahrain threatened with suspension from not just football but the IOC,” the former Australian football captain Craig Foster said at the Sydney rally. These are the two biggest sporting organisations on the planet. Membership of those organisations, and of the sports that we love and have a duty to protect, comes with obligations. It’s simply not acceptable to incarcerate and torture athletes and then expect to remain a member of Fifa and the IOC. It cannot possibly be acceptable to try to run a case to refoule a refugee on political motivations and expect to remain a member of Fifa and the IOC.”

Nikki Dryden, who twice represented Canada as a swimmer at the Olympics, and is now a human rights and immigration lawyer, said the IOC had to do “much more than they have so far. The IOC must be faster in securing the release of Hakeem, and must take on the higher value of human rights over money.”

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