Thailand to free refugee footballer

Thailand to free refugee footballer
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AFP

A football player and refugee whose detention in Thailand sparked an outcry has been freed from jail after Bahrain withdrew its extradition question.
Hakeem al-Araibi, who’s a Bahraini citizen, fled to Australia in 2014 and was as soon as granted political asylum.
He was as soon as detained in Bangkok in November on an Interpol be taught about requested by Bahrain. He had travelled to the Thai capital on honeymoon.
He was as soon as sentenced in absentia to 10 years for vandalising a police station.
Al-Araibi, 25, denies the prices. Human rights activists say he may perchance well well maybe face torture if despatched help to Bahrain, where he was as soon as a vocal critic of the authorities.

His case has been taken up by high-profile footballers, with stars including Didier Drogba and Jamie Vardy calling for his originate. The Australian govt, football’s worldwide governing physique Fifa and the Worldwide Olympic Committee all lobbied Thailand.
Thailand’s Space of commercial of the Legal legitimate Frequent (OAG) asked the court docket to entire complaints towards al-Araibi attributable to Bahrain had acknowledged it now not wished him, officials advised BBC Thai on Monday.
“This morning the Ministry of International Affairs advised us that Bahrain was as soon as now not drawn to this question,” OAG foreign place of work chief Chatchom Akapin acknowledged.
Al-Araibi is anticipated to toddle away Thailand on Monday evening for Australia.

Thailand’s foreign minister was as soon as in Bahrain over the weekend for an legit consult with and met senior leaders.
Craig Foster, a inclined Australian national football captain and TV host who spearheaded the campaign to free al-Araibi, acknowledged there had been “tears” in his household “correct now”.

Skip Twitter put up by @Craig_Foster

We ticket that @prayutofficial Govt and court docket has ruled to originate Hakeem. My thanks toddle to the objective individuals of Thailand to your toughen and to Thai Govt for upholding worldwide law. My deepest gratitude. Furthermore to all individuals who stood for what’s correct 👏 #Hakeemhome— Craig Foster (@Craig_Foster) February eleven, 2019

End of Twitter put up by @Craig_Foster

Australian Top Minister Scott Morrison advised reporters in Canberra that he thanked Bangkok for “paying consideration to the failings” Australia had raised.
“Now your next step is for him to reach dwelling. But as it continuously is in these conditions, individuals are now not dwelling unless they’re dwelling,” he acknowledged.
Al-Araibi performs for Pascoe Vale FC in Melbourne.
Last month, his wife advised the BBC that extradition would keep him in hazard.
“I’m calling on every country to help Hakeem attributable to I do know if he will get taken help, he’ll be tortured, and he’ll be killed,” she acknowledged.
But Bahrain acknowledged al-Araibi had been sentenced by an objective judiciary “on prices moving crucial violence and criminality, unrelated to any that that probabilities are you’ll imagine freedom of notion/expression considerations”.
It acknowledged his security would be “assured” if he returned to Bahrain to appeal towards the sentence.

Image copyright
EPA

Image caption

Hakeem’s arrest prompted an outcry in Australia

Human rights activists lauded Monday’s news.
“Right here’s a gargantuan victory for the human rights motion in Bahrain, Thailand and Australia, and even the entire world,” acknowledged Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei of the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, London-basically based solely campaign community.
“Hakeem’s ordeal ended after 70 days when there was as soon as a profitable public stance and solidarity motion. The football community, the human rights motion and all of these that dedicated their time and efforts to entire this injustice were rewarded.”


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