Monarchy, junta and a refugee II

4 12 2018

A couple of days ago PPT linked to a despicable tale of Thailand’s junta flouting international norms by detaining an accredited refugee from Australia. Hakeem Al-Araibi, a footballer, was detained at Bangkok’s international airport on an Interpol red notice issued at Bahrain’s request.

The Bangkok Post has noticed the case and has an editorial that states that “the detention is not just legal but conforms in all ways to international norms.” The are citing Immigration Police chief Big Joke (yes, that’s his nickname), Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn, a junta minion, close to Deputy Dictator Gen Prawit Wongsuwan.

We are not sure either the Post or Big Joke are correct on this claim about “legality.” After all, Big Joke has previously engaged in illegal and dubious international interventions. In addition, as the Post points out, “case is almost completely opaque.”

In addition, as the Post notes, “Interpol notices are not legally binding, but simply indicate a request from one country to all others for help with alleged fugitives,” meaning claims about “legality” are buffalo manure or a big and sad joke.

So why does the military junta do this? Here’s the reason, as explained by the Post:

The problem is that Araibi is a legal refugee in Australia who is wanted in Bahrain, where he was persecuted and tortured for his political views about the monarchy of that country.

It adds that Big Joke is an “agent of an attempt to merely curry favour with an undemocratic Middle Eastern government.” In fact, Bahrain is about as democratic as Thailand under the military dictatorship and both are more-or-less autocratic monarchies. That fact speaks loudly in this case.


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