Wednesday, 13 February 2019
al-Araibi, Mr Hakeem
I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 1 standing in my name relating to the recent detention of Mr Hakeem al-Araibi.
I move the motion as amended:
That the following matter be referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 2 April 2019:
The role of the Department of Home Affairs, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in the recent detention in Thailand of Mr Hakeem Al-Araibi, with particular reference to:
(a) processes that led to Australia notifying Thailand that Mr Al-Araibi was travelling, and the subject of an INTERPOL Red Notice;
(b) the actions of the Department of Home Affairs, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the AFP following Mr Al-Araibi's arrest in Thailand;
(c) the actions of Australian authorities in relation to Mr Al-Araibi's arrest and detention;
(d) the duty of care Australia owes its citizens and permanent residents who are at risk of facing inhumane treatment overseas;
(e) the operation of the INTERPOL Red Notice system, and whether it adequately protects the rights of Australian citizens and permanent residents;
(f) measures that could be implemented to prevent similar cases from occurring in future; and
(g) any other related matters.
This issue is the subject of a review by the Department of Home Affairs and relevant agencies. Mr Al-Araibi's return to Australia was a welcome outcome, and the government commends Thailand's commitment to due process and human rights leading to this decision. This outcome is a testament to the strength and depth of Australia's relationship with both Thailand and Bahrain. The government thanks the Thai and Bahraini governments and all those who advocated strongly for Mr Al-Araibi's release.
While Hakeem al-Araibi's return to Australia was an absolutely joyous event, we can't look past the fact that he was detained in Thailand and spent months locked up fearing for his very life and that this was clearly because of decisions and mistakes made by Australian government agencies. As a refugee and permanent resident of this country, Hakeem was owed a duty of care. Australian authorities failed him and that failure could have cost him his life. We need to find out what happened so we can do everything we can to stop it happening again. To just inquire into this in Senate estimates will not result in recommendations being made and will not result in the required lengthy examination of the key people involved in the decision to dob Hakeem into the Thai authorities, a government with a death penalty. I trust the Senate will back this motion.