Thursday, November 14, 2019

Hakeem was legally shackled, says Corrections 

Feb 05. 2019
File photo : Hakeem Al-Araibi//Kunlaphun Siripimamporn
File photo : Hakeem Al-Araibi//Kunlaphun Siripimamporn
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Corrections Department is permitted by law to place leg irons on former Bahraini footballer turned Australian refugee Hakeem Al-Araibi, who was arrested and is being detained in a Thai prison pending an extradition trial, said department chief Narat Sawettanun on Tuesday.

Narat said his department chose to put him in shackles when transporting him from detention to his trial after his case caught the attention of media and the general public, Narat said, adding the case involves international relations.

Al-Araibi, who is a resident of Australia, where he holds refugee status, appeared yesterday at the Criminal Court with his legs cuffed. He is fighting an extradition request from his former home country.

His appearance in leg irons drew criticism, with some comments claiming that the act violated basic human rights.

Narat countered that cuffing him is allowed by Corrections Act 2560, which states that officials could consider using fetters when taking a detainee outside. “The shackles on al-Arabi are a legitimate type of fetters,” he said.

Narat accepted that people could see the actions as violating basic human rights. But he asked for public understanding of the need to chain a detainee or prisoner when taking him out of the prison in order to prevent him from escaping. To do otherwise could do harm to the public, he said.

“I wish to tell the public to not worry about human rights, the department is well aware of how to protect the rights of all prisoners,” he said.

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