Weekly media wrap - 14 February 2019

Independent MP Dr Kerryn Phelps put forward a bill proposing an amendment to the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) that establishes an independent medical advice panel for the transfer of asylum seekers and refugees from Papua New Guinea and Nauru. Government ministers oppose the Bill, saying that its passing would result in the transfer of one thousand people within weeks. The Bill is due for a vote next week.

The ABC’s Four Corners reported that a number of Saudi women have been prevented from reaching Australia by airline liaison officers (ALOs) stationed in airports in transit countries. The investigation followed the high-profile case of Rahaf Al-Qunun, a Saudi woman stranded in Bangkok and given protection in Canada. ALOs advise governments and airlines on whether to allow a person to board, in some cases refusing embarkation when they suspect a person will apply for asylum upon arrival in Australia.

Refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi appeared at an extradition hearing in Bangkok. Mr al-Araibi is a Bahrainian national granted refugee protection in Australia. Bahrain has requested his extradition from Thai authorities after he was arrested on holiday there.