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Hakeem al-Araibi: Thailand to free refugee footballer

In this file photo taken on February 04, 2019 Hakeem al-Araibi, a Bahraini refugee and Australian resident, is escorted to a courtroom in Bangkok. - Thailand has ended the extradition proceedings against refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi on February 11, a prosecutor saidSymbol copyright
AFP

A soccer participant and refugee whose detention in Thailand sparked an outcry shall be freed after Bahrain withdrew its extradition request, officers say.

Hakeem Al-Araibi, who’s a Bahraini citizen, fled to Australia in 2014 and used to be granted political asylum.

He used to be detained in Bangkok in November on an Interpol understand asked via Bahrain. He had travelled to the Thai capital on honeymoon.

He used to be sentenced in absentia to 10 years for vandalising a police station.

Al-Araibi, 25, denies the costs and human rights activists say he may just face torture if despatched again to Bahrain. He has been a vocal critic of Bahraini government.

His case has been taken up via high-profile footballers, with stars together with Didier Drogba and Jamie Vardy calling for his liberate. The Australian govt, Fifa and the Global Olympic Committee all lobbied Thailand

Thailand’s Administrative center of the Legal professional Basic (OAG) requested the courtroom to finish court cases in opposition to Al-Araibi as a result of Bahrain had stated it now not sought after him, officers advised BBC Thai on Monday.

“This morning the Ministry of International Affairs knowledgeable us that Bahrain used to be now not on this request,” OAG overseas place of job leader Chatchom Akapin stated.

Craig Foster, a former Australian nationwide soccer captain and TV host who spearheaded the marketing campaign to loose Hakeem, stated there have been “tears” in his family “presently”.

Al-Araibi performs for Pascoe Vale FC in Melbourne.

Final month, his spouse advised the BBC that extradition would put him at risk.

“I am calling on each nation to assist Hakeem as a result of I do know if he will get taken again he’ll be tortured, and he’ll be killed,” she stated.

However Bahrain stated al-Araibi were sentenced via an unbiased judiciary “on fees involving severe violence and criminal activity, unrelated to any conceivable freedom of opinion/expression problems”.

It stated his protection could be “assured” if he returned to Bahrain to enchantment in opposition to the sentence.

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