Bahraini footballer Hakeem al-Araibi set to be released by Thai authorities

Bahraini footballer Hakeem al-Araibi set to be released by Thai authorities

Bahraini footballer Hakeem al-Araibi set to be released by Thai authorities

Former Socceroos captain and prominent broadcaster Craig Foster led the campaign to have him freed who said many wonderful people had stepped forward to help Hakeem. "They all deserve to be in front of camera now, not only me". Human Rights Watch's director of global initiatives, Minky Worden, wrote on Saturday that the Bahraini request to extradite Araibi represented "naked political persecution".

The Prime Minister Scott Morrison has welcomed Mr al-Araibi's release, and thanked the Thai Government.

Al-Araibi was arrested on 27 November on an erroneously issued Interpol red notice, which should never have been granted to Bahrain under clear Interpol policies created to protect refugees from refoulement.

"I would like to say thanks to Australia". Her nightmare will shortly be at an end.

The player fled Bahrain in 2014 and now plays for semi-professional Melbourne-based club Pascoe Vale.

In a brief statement released Monday, Bahrain's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it "takes note of the halt in legal proceedings against Hakeem Al Araibi in Thailand".

Al-Araibi was detained in Bangkok for two months over claims he attacked a police station using petrol bombs during the Arab Spring uprising.

"He is on his way to the airport, the next step is for him to return home".

Court spokesman Suriyan Hongvilai said Al-Araibi, who lives and plays football in Australia, was being processed for release.

The footballer was accused of vandalising a police station in 2012, a charge al-Araibi has always denied.

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He also believes he was targeted for arrest because of his Shiite faith and because his brother was politically active in Bahrain.

Mr Araibi has said he was blindfolded and had his legs beaten while he was held in Bahrain previously. Bahrain has a Shiite majority but is ruled by a Sunni monarchy.

The 25-year-old was officially granted Australian refugee status in 2017.

While it has been a long and arduous two months in detention for Hakeem, Thailand has done the right thing in dropping the case against him.

He was detained upon his arrival in Bangkok in November, while on a holiday, at the request of Bahrain relayed through Interpol.

"We greatly respect the process that [the Thai government] had to work through and we greatly appreciate their listening to the issues", Morrison said on Monday afternoon.

The Bangkok court previously set an April 22 date for the next hearing.

Bahrain's Foreign Ministry said yesterday it had learned about the withdrawal of the extradition case by the Thai side. There has been overwhelming support for Hakeem from Australia and overseas, incredible work from Amnesty Ambassador Craig Foster with support from the football, sporting and olympic communities, human rights organisations, the Australian government and public as well as our colleagues in Amnesty Thailand.

He said Federation Internationale de Football Association has not discussed imposing sanctions on either Bahrain or Thailand over the case.

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