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Thailand must release refugee to avoid diplomatic rift with Australia

Dec 04. 2018
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Immigration chief Pol Maj-General Surachate “Big Joke” Hakparn announced that he has complied with international regulations and protocols in the arrest (abduction) of Bahraini refugee Hakeem Al-Araibi, visiting Thailand from his home in Australia.

One can only imagine the creeping horror Australian Ambassador Paul Stephens must have felt during his conversation with Surachate as the dark underbelly of Thai jurisprudence slowly revealed itself.

Although ratified by 145 nations, the 1951 UN Refugee Convention was not found acceptable by Thailand. However Thailand is signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 14 of which recognises the right of a person to seek asylum from persecution in other countries. Apparently Pol Major-General Surachate has personally decided not to pay any attention to these irritating foreign ideas and instead do things his way.

Australia has been a friend to Thailand for many years. Might it not behove Thai officials to bear that in mind?

Mr M 

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