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Morocco to extradite Australian to Saudi Arabia, wife says

Osama Alhasani [Screengrab/Youtube]
Osama Alhasani [Screengrab/Youtube]

A Moroccan court has decided to extradite Osama al-Hasani, a dual Australian-Saudi citizen, to Saudi Arabia, his wife said on Wednesday, in a case that has concerned rights groups, Reuters reports.

Hasani was arrested last month upon arrival in Morocco, where he had travelled to join his wife and baby daughter.

His wife, Hanae, cried as she told Reuters by phone: "I did not expect this verdict."

A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced Hasani, a businessman who previously worked at a Saudi university, to two years in prison.

A Moroccan justice ministry official said the arrest took place following an Interpol notice filed by Saudi Arabia, adding that Hasani is wanted by the Saudis for a penal code matter involving theft.

Haydee Dijkstal, who is instructed as international counsel for Mr Alhasani by his family, said "The decision by a Moroccan court to approve the extradition of Mr Alhasani is worrisome considering Morocco's firm obligation under the Convention against Torture not to extradite any person to a country where there is a real risk the person might be tortured.  The decision is in contravention of the extensively evidenced pattern of abuse and torture by the Saudi authorities of individuals in detention like Mr Alhasani, and the credible risk based on reports from human rights organisations, governments and the United Nations demonstrating that Mr Alhasani will not receive a fair trial in Saudi Arabia, and that his safety and security will be at risk."


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