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Soccer: Australia union seeks help for detained Bahraini refugee player

DUBAI (Reuters) – The top of the Australian football gamers union desires the game’s regional governing frame to assist safe the discharge of a Bahraini refugee footballer arrested in Thailand in November over a jail sentence in his hometown.

FILE PHOTO: Hakeem AlAraibi, a former member of Bahrain’s nationwide football group who holds a refugee standing in Australia arrives at court docket after he was once arrested final month on arrival at a Bangkok airport according to an Interpol understand issued at Bahrain’s request, in Bangkok, Thailand December 11, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Hakeem Al Araibi, who performed in Australia however had flown out for his honeymoon, was once arrested in November in Bangkok on an Interpol understand issued at Bahrain’s request.

The previous member of Bahrain’s nationwide football group, a critic of the federal government, was once convicted of vandalizing a police station and sentenced to 10 years in jail in absentia.

He has denied wrongdoing.

John Didulica, leader govt of Skilled Footballers Australia (PFA), stated the Asian Soccer Confederation (AFC), whose head is a member of Bahrain’s ruling circle of relatives, will have to interfere for his freedom.

Didulca stated Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, as AFC president, was once obliged to safeguard footballers’ rights, however he had observed no proof of motion.

“That’s an enormous failure on their behalf and should be remedied,” he informed Reuters at a lodge in Dubai on Sunday whilst attending the Asian Cup.

Failure to paintings in opposition to Araibi’s go back to Australia, the place he was once granted asylum in 2017 after fleeing Bahrain 3 years previous, may make Sheikh Salman’s candidacy for re-election “untenable”, he added.

When requested via Reuters to reply to Didulica’s feedback, an AFC spokesman stated: “The AFC is operating with many stakeholders together with FIFA, and as this paintings is ongoing we will be able to make no additional remark.”

Sheikh Salman may now not be reached and the Bahrain state media administrative center didn’t straight away respond to a request for remark.

FIFA has demanded Araibi be allowed to go back to Australia.

Araibi was once a vocal critic of Sheikh Salman, a cousin of Bahrain’s king, when he contested the FIFA presidential election in 2015. Right through the marketing campaign, which he misplaced to Gianni Infantino, Sheikh Salman was once strongly criticized via some rights teams.

Sheikh Salman denies he was once excited by investigating and prosecuting athletes energetic in Bahrain’s 2011 protests.

Activists have known as on government to “display humanity” to Araibi in the similar method they did to an 18-year-old Saudi lady who fled from her circle of relatives to Thailand.

Human Rights Watch stated Araibi was once tortured via Bahraini government on account of his brother’s political actions all through the Arab Spring rebellion in 2011.

Bahraini government deny allegations of torture.

Reporting via Alexander Cornwell; Modifying via Ghaida Ghantous and Andrew Cawthorne

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Consider Rules.

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