Australia police: We did not know Bahraini football player was a refugee

Refugee football player Hakeem Al-Araibi was held 76 days under threat of extradition to Bahrain before he was released last week. (AFP)
Updated 18 February 2019
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Australia police: We did not know Bahraini football player was a refugee

  • Bahrain and Thailand were alerted on November 27 almost six hours before Hakeem Al-Araibi landed in Bangkok
  • The bungle drew the Australian government, international football bodies and human rights advocates into a top-level dispute

CANBERRA, Australia: Australian Federal Police did not know a Bahraini football player was a refugee who feared persecution in his homeland when the agency alerted Bahrain and Thailand he was on a flight bound for Bangkok, a top police official said Monday.
Police Deputy Commissioner Ramzi Jabbour told a Senate committee the two countries were alerted on November 27 almost six hours before Hakeem Al-Araibi landed after a nine-hour flight from Melbourne on his honeymoon.
The bungle drew the Australian government, international football bodies and human rights advocates into a top-level dispute with Thai and Bahrain governments to gain Al-Araibi’s freedom. He was detained at the airport and was held 76 days under threat of extradition to Bahrain before he was released last week and returned to Melbourne.
The rules of international policing organization Interpol prevent a Red Notice from being issued for an acknowledged refugee to be sent back to the country from which they fled persecution.
Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin told the committee that police did not know that Al-Araibi was a refugee and did not have access to his visa status when Bahrain applied for a Red Notice to Australia’s Interpol bureau on November 9.


Knife attacker injures four staff at Oslo school: police

Norway police said they apprehended the attacker and the motive was not immediately clear. (AFP file photo)
Updated 19 March 2019
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Knife attacker injures four staff at Oslo school: police

  • The four victims, all school employees, were taken to hospital with minor injuries

OSLO: An attacker armed with a knife injured a teacher and three other staff at a school in Oslo on Tuesday, police said.
Police said they apprehended the attacker and the motive was not immediately clear.
The four victims, all school employees, were taken to hospital with minor injuries, police told Norwegian news agency NTB.