Miscommunication in Australian Interior Ministry Caused Al-Araibi’s Arrest

2019-02-14 - 11:38 م

Bahrain Mirror: The Australian New Daily newspaper confirmed that the arrest in Thailand of refugee footballer Hakeem Al-Araibi was the direct result of a "miscommunication" between two agencies in Peter Dutton's portfolio.

The newspaper also confirmed that the failure to raise Al-Araibi's protected status as a refugee before the Interpol red notice was issued was the result of a miscommunication between Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force.

The Australian Interior Ministry is preparing to launch an urgent review into the automatic notification system this week, which led to the Melbourne-based footballer being the subject of an Interpol red notice and arrested in Thailand before spending months behind bars.

Arriving back in Melbourne on Tuesday, Al-Araibi said he wanted to thank the people of Australia for campaigning for his release.

Dutton said AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin would have "something more to say" about the matter soon. But after several hours the AFP kicked responsibility back to the department.

It is now known that Interpol Australia alerted Thai authorities that Al-Araibi was en route to Thailand, but did not warn him that he was the subject of a red notice and could be arrested and returned home to the country he fled after his arrest and torture.

The Department of Home Affairs has previously confirmed that Interpol Australia tipped off the Thai officials before his arrest, but said "Any action taken in response to the Interpol Red Notice is a matter for Thai authorities."

"We need to ensure that the system is going to be changed," Foster told reporters at Melbourne Airport.

He also called for changes within the governance of sports.

"We think that this was very much about the soul of sport, which has been sold, and money has infiltrated the values of both football and other sports," Foster said.

He stressed "We think that it's time to start to claim [this soul] that back, and Hakeem Al-Araibi standing here and talking to Australia is a big blow in that regard.

Ex-Socceroo Craig Foster said while he was grateful for the tireless work of Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne and Prime Minister Scott Morrison, those responsible for the bungle needed to be held to account.

It seems that Morrison government is keen to ensure it never happens again. Labor and the Greens have also turned their attention to how Bahrain came to issue the Interpol red notice that resulted in him being jailed when he landed in Thailand for what was supposed to be his honeymoon.

Bahrain wanted Al-Araibi extradited to serve a 10-year sentence for vandalism that he denies, saying he was playing a televised soccer match at the time the vandalism was alleged to have occurred during pro-democracy protests.

Arabic Version