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Publication

Fair Trials’ letter to the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs on Hakeem Al-Araibi’s arrest

February 13, 2019 - INTERPOL
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On 13 February, Fair Trials wrote to Marise Payne, the Minister for Foreign Affairs in Australia, to raise concerns on how INTERPOL member countries, including Australia, have a crucial role to play to protect individuals who are unjustly targeted through INTERPOL’s channels.

According to the recent press release from the Australian Embassy in Bangkok, the Australian authorities were ‘not initially aware’ that the red notice against Hakeem Al-Araibi was invalid. It did not, however, clarify whether this was because they were unaware of his refugee status, or because of their ignorance of INTERPOL’s policy regarding refugees and asylum seekers. Either way, Fair Trials believes that this lack of awareness is inexcusable.

We welcome the fact that the Australian Government now recognises it made a mistake in relation to Mr Al-Araibi, and its commitment to prevent similar cases in the future. While we are glad to hear that Australia is reviewing its own procedures, we also believe that it can do more by supporting INTERPOL to do its work properly. If Australia is serious about tackling the misuse of INTERPOL, it also needs to address the challenges closer to home.

Read our letter here.

If you are a journalist interested in this story, please telephone Fair Trials’ press department on +44 (0) 20 7822 2370 or +32 (0) 2 360 04 71.

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