Monarchies, a refugee and erasing human rights II

29 01 2019

Thailand is coming under further international pressure on the case of footballer Hakeem al-Araibi, an accredited refugee in Australia, arrested and jailed in Thailand and threatened with extradition to the country he fled, Bahrain.

An Australian newspaper reports that Prime Minister Scott Morrison has written to The Dictator “emphasising the [Hakeem’s] case was a matter of importance to him personally, as well as the Australian government and the Australian people.”

Meanwhile, the Bangkok Post reports that the Asian Football Confederation has also appealed for Hakeem’s return to Australia, with Vice President Praful Patel writing:

I hereby respectfully request Your Excellency [he means Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha] to take the necessary steps to ensure that Mr AI Araibi is returned safely to Australia, where he has been granted refugee status, at the earliest possible opportunity….

In a truly remarkable move, Thailand’s dictatorship has tried to make Hakeem’s arrest and detention in Thailand a matter for Australia and Bahrain. Minister of Foreign Affairs Don Pramudwinai stated “What I see as the most proper way is Australia and Bahrain should initiate dialogue [about it].”

What kind of foreign minister abrogates responsibility in such a hopeless, negligent and seemingly spineless manner? Arguably, his “suggestion” is in breach of international law and obligations.

Or is it that this case requires monarchy to monarchy decision-making? Social media has been pointed in discussing the differences between Hakeem, considered a political agitator and opposed to Bahrain’s monarchy, and the case of Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, who was quickly processed and moved on from Bangkok. Of course, monarchy-monarchy relations with Saudi Arabia have long been poor.

With 3 updates: Human rights violations and the military junta

7 01 2019

There’s very wide media coverage of a young woman from Saudi Arabia “being held at a Bangkok airport fears she will be killed if she is repatriated by Thai immigration officials…”. Thai officials “have confirmed the 18-year-old has been denied entry to the country.” An interesting aspect of the story is that:

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun said she was stopped by Saudi and Kuwaiti officials when she arrived at Suvarnabhumi airport and her travel document was forcibly taken from her, a claim backed by Human Rights Watch.

Again, it is the Deputy Dictator’s man, Big Joke Surachate Hakparn who is “managing” more human rights abuse and who confirms that she will be forcefully repatriate. He has also played an important and negative role in the detention of Bahrain refugee.

Under the military junta, there have been several reports of foreign police and/or military officials actively “working” in Thailand. Most reports have involved Chinese police or provincial “authorities.” Dissidents have disappeared in Thailand and reappeared in China and those seeking refugee status have been forcibly deported.

Update 1: The Bangkok Post reports that Rahaf barricaded herself in her room and avoided the first effort to deport her. No doubt the huge international media attention and the interest of several governments has also caused the blunt dolts associated with the junta and Immigration to think a bit more, if “think is the correct term for what they do:

Sunai Phasuk of Human Rights Watch was quoted by media as saying Rahaf had refused to leave her hotel room at the Miracle Transit Hotel, which was surrounded by police who were refusing to let anyone inside.

UN officials were present, he reportedly said. However, ABC reporter Sophie McNeill tweeted that representatives of the United Nations Human Rights Committee were being refused access.

Update 2: A reader sent us a link to an interesting Australian media report on these events, saying that if Rahaf’s account is accurate, “Thai authorities have questions to answer” about how they are doing backroom deals with Saudi and Bahraini officials and with regimes with terrible human rights records.

Update 3: Intense international media attention seems to have caused the Thai authorities to do that “rethinking.” The Bangkok Post reports that Rahaf has been “temporarily admitted to Thailand for evaluation by the UN refugee agency…. Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn told reporters Monday night that 18-year-old Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun would be granted entry under the protection of the office of the UN High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR).” Immigration police allowed the UNHCR to meet Rahaf and accompany her from the airport.

Lese majeste convict released

30 01 2014

Prachatai reports on the release of a Saudi Arabian lese majeste convict “Ibrahim A.,” who was freed “last week after receiving a royal pardon.” This is a case PPT had heard of but had not had a source to post from.

Prachatai says that he “was sentenced to two years in jail for posting rumours about the king’s health on an investors’ webboard in August 2010.”

Ibrahim, who is 42, and his family face a bleak future. The authorities are now about to deport him and blacklist him, leaving his wife and son in Thailand. She says the “fragile ties between Thailand and Saudi Arabia [due to the unresolved Saudi gems and murders cases], it will be nearly impossible for his wife to register their marriage certificate and stay with him in the Middle Eastern country…”.

His wife observes: “It seems unfair. We have to separate even though the crime he committed didn’t kill anybody. He didn’t mean it. The King has given him a royal pardon already, but still the Immigration law [demands that he leave.]”

Ibrahim was previously an investor, and when he posted on an investors’ web forum at a securities company,  the company filed a police complaint.

The Court of First Instance in March 2012 found Ibrahim guilty under Article 112 of the Criminal Code, or lèse majesté law, and Article 14 of the Computer Crime Act, and sentenced him to two years in prison. The Appeal Court in August 2013 affirmed the decision and did not grant him bail. He and his family then decided to request a royal pardon. He was granted the pardon on January 22, 2014. He was released, but later detained in the care of the Immigration Police. He is now released on bail.

Prachatai adds: “There are at least two other lèse majesté cases involving rumours about the king’s health.”

The punishment for lese majeste never ceases. All of this for some speculation on the health of an aged and sick monarch. Not only is the lese majeste law unjust and draconian, it is implemented in pathetic ways by hopeless toadies.

Saudi jailed for lese majeste

27 08 2012

PPT doesn’t know any more about this case than the brief report at Emirates 24/7 News:

Thai authorities sentenced a Saudi man in Bangkok to two years in jail on charges of spreading online rumors that Queen Sirikit has died, a newspaper in the Gulf Kingdom reported on Monday.

The Saudi embassy in the Thai capital has appointed a lawyer to appeal the sentence against the man, who is married to a Thai woman and has three children, the Arabic language daily Alriyadh said.

“The Saudi embassy took the occasion to warn Saudi citizens in Thailand against violating the law there in order to avert prosecution,” the paper said.

It seems like this is a recent case and that it has been hurried through probably a closed court.It seems that several of the cases in recent years have been associated with the queen.

If readers see any more, let us know at PPT.

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