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Thousands raised to free Aboriginal women jailed over debts

Campaigners in Australia have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help free Aboriginal women jailed for being unable to pay fines.

Western Australia is the nation's only state that regularly jails people for unpaid fines, often on minor crimes.

Experts note the law disproportionately affects indigenous Australians, as well as poor and vulnerable people.

The state government says it plans reforms this year that will make it harder for people to be jailed.

In the meantime, campaigners have begun fundraising to pay for fines incurred by Aboriginal women, raising almost A$200,000 (£110,000; $143,000) since Saturday.




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Australia police say they didn't know Bahraini was refugee

CANBERRA, Australia: Australian Federal Police say they did not know a Bahraini soccer player was a refugee who feared persecution when they alerted Bahrain and Thailand that he was on a flight bound for Bangkok.

Police Deputy Commissioner Ramzi Jabbour told a Senate committee Monday the two countries were alerted on Nov 27 almost six hours before Hakeem al-Araibi landed after a nine-hour flight from Melbourne on his honeymoon.

The bungle drew the Australian government, international soccer bodies and human rights advocates into a top-level dispute with Thai and Bahrain governments to gain his freedom. He spent 76 days detained under threat of extradition to Bahrain before he was released last week and returned to Melbourne.

Interpol rules are supposed to ensure refugees are not returned to countries they've fled.




Some how Ramzi Jabbour doesn't sound like a very Strine name.  :hmmm:




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