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profishingrods.com February 21, 2019


Thai court orders release of Bahrain refugee soccer player

11 February 2019, 12:26 | Devin Moran

Al-Araibi was convicted to 10 years jail for his alleged role in a 2012 police station attack. AAP

Al-Araibi was convicted to 10 years' jail for his alleged role in a 2012 police station attack

Australian footballer Hakeem Al-Araibi has been released from Thai prison and is heading home, after prosecutors dropped the push to extradite him back to Bahrain.

Reports from the ABC and BBC say Al-Araibi, who has refugee status in Australia, is set to be released.

Former Socceroos captain Craig Foster has been leading the campaign to free Al-Araibi, regularly jetting from Australia to Bangkok, while also visiting FIFA's headquarters in Zurich to discuss the saga.

In November previous year, he and his wife flew to Thailand for their honeymoon, believing his Australian visa allowed him to travel safely, but they were detained immediately when they landed at Bangkok's Airport in response to an Interpol "red notice".

Araibi has said he wants to return to Australia, where he has lived since 2014 and plays for a Melbourne football club.

He denied the allegations and said he was tortured by his captors during his detention before fleeing to Iran when he was allowed to travel to Qatar for a football match.




The Bahraini government had insisted that he should be treated as a simple fugitive and will have an opportunity to appeal his conviction in the country's courts.

A Thai court had earlier ruled that Mr Al-Araibi would remain in prison until his next court hearing on April 22.

"We have been informed that Bahrain wants to withdraw the (extradition) request".

Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had no comment on the case.

Nadthasiri Bergman, Mr Araibi's lawyer, said the court had given her 60 days to submit the defence's case.



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