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
0

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.


British PM Theresa May resigns over Brexit failure

Updated 24 May 2019
0

British PM Theresa May resigns over Brexit failure

  • She will resign as Conservative Party leader on June 7 with a leadership contest in the following week
  • She endured crises and humiliation in her effort to find a compromise Brexit deal that parliament could ratify

LONDON:  British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Friday she would quit, triggering a contest that will bring a new leader to power who is likely to push for a more decisive Brexit divorce deal.

May set out a timetable for her departure — she will resign as Conservative Party leader on June 7 with a leadership contest beginning the following week.

“I will resign as leader of the Conservative and Unionist party on Friday, 7th June so that a successor can be chosen,” May said outside 10 Downing Street.

With her voice breaking up with emotion, May, who endured crises and humiliation in her effort to find a compromise Brexit deal that parliament could ratify, said she bore no ill will.

“I will shortly leave the job that has been the honor of my life to hold,” May said. “The second female prime minister, but certainly not the last.”

“I do so with no ill will but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love,” May said.

May, once a reluctant supporter of EU membership, who won the top job in the turmoil that followed the 2016 Brexit vote, steps down with her central pledges — to lead the United Kingdom out of the bloc and heal its divisions — unfulfilled.

May bequeaths a deeply divided country and a political elite that is deadlocked over how, when or whether to leave the EU. She said her successor would need to find a consensus in parliament on Brexit.

May’s departure will deepen the Brexit crisis as a new leader is likely to want a more decisive split, raising the chances of a confrontation with the European Union and a snap parliamentary election.

The leading contenders to succeed May all want a tougher divorce deal, although the EU has said it will not renegotiate the Withdrawal Treaty it sealed in November.

Meanwhile, the EU will not offer whoever takes over as British prime minister a better Brexit deal, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Friday.

“From my perspective, I don’t see the European Union offering any new prime minister a better or very different deal to what was on offer to Theresa May,” Coveney told Ireland’s Newstalk radio station after May on Friday said she would quit.

“This idea that a new prime minister will be a tougher negotiator and will put it up to the EU and get a much better deal for Britain? That’s not how the EU works.”