Australia urges Thailand free refugee soccer player

A-League players campaigns for Hakeem

Al-Araibi, who fled Bahrain in 2014, was detained and held in Thailand in November at the request of the Bahrain government.

The soccer player says he fled persecution in the island Kingdom located halfway between Qatar and Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf, which has a majority Shia population ruled by a Sunni Muslim monarchy.

"Be strong. Football is with you", former Australia national soccer team captain Craig Foster said to Hakeem outside court.

"Hakeem, Australia is with you, mate", Foster shouted.

"It's obvious to the world that this is a politically motivated case, this is about retribution from Bahrain to Hakeem who spoke up against the government and others", he said. He has refugee status in Australia, where he lives and plays for a semi-professional team, and was travelling on vacation.

A Thai prosecutor submitted the Bahraini extradition request to the court last week, saying it showed Araibi had committed criminal wrongdoing and so should be extradited.

Al-Araibi himself has spoken of his fear of being deported to Bahrain, telling The Guardian, "in Bahrain there are no human rights and no safety for people like me", further asserting that the extradition notice was connected to comments he made about Bahrain's human rights record, saying "This is nothing to do with my conviction, Bahrain wants me back to punish me, because I talked to the media about bad human rights".

Bahrain also disputes Australia's finding that al-Araibi is a refugee, saying Australia had granted this status based on inaccurate information. "Hakeem and his wife have found sanctuary in Australia; he should not spend another day in detention and should be allowed home, to Melbourne, immediately".

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and sport officials such as Fatma Samoura, the secretary-general of soccer's world governing body, FIFA, and Praful Patel, vice president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), have also urged Araibi's release.

Araibi violated the terms of his bail the statement said and has "the right to appeal" his conviction.

"What's happened today, particularly him being brought in in shackles, is going to really drive the football community to put massive pressure on them", Foster said.

Al Araibi, 25, is due to appear in court in Bangkok on Monday, reports Efe news.

Worldwide human rights groups say Bahrain has systematically persecuted and denied the civil rights of its Shiite majority.

"He is a refugee".

Chatchom said administrators of the Thai government have not intervened in the case but he had received a letter from Thailand's foreign ministry that stated only that the case could affect global relations.

Federico Addiechi, a representative of Federation Internationale de Football Association, soccer's world governing body, also attended Monday's hearing and said the organization will continue to support al-Araibi.

Human rights groups have accused Bahrain of arresting family members of opposition supporters. "Why won't Thailand just let me go home?" "It is a commitment enshrined in our human rights policy", he said.

Both Al-Araibi's representatives and the prosecution will need to have their cases prepared by April 5, before the court hear from witnesses 17 days later.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Why the Marshmello x Fortnite concert is such a big deal
Feb 05, 2019 - 01:00
Worry no more! Those who are taken out will re-spawn in order to continuing listening to the exclusive Fortnite set. The first challenge kicked off earlier this week and required players to "Search a Showtime Poster".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Super Bowl LIII: Jersey Colors for Patriots, Rams
Feb 04, 2019 - 00:57
Louis in 2000 and '02, have four players who have gotten to the big game. The Rams , whose past two Super Bowl trips were representing St.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Donald Trump says Nancy Pelosi was 'very rigid' during shutdown
Feb 04, 2019 - 00:40
The president indicated he will address the national emergency issue during his State of the Union Address before Congress on Tuesday, saying to "listen closely to the State of the Union, I think you'll find it very exciting".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Putin says Russia suspending missile treaty after US move
Feb 03, 2019 - 01:09
The United States withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty on Friday, accusing Russian Federation of violating it.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Girona vs. Real Madrid - Football Match Report
Feb 02, 2019 - 00:18
As Barca's cup goalkeeper, he was set to start the first leg of the Clasico tie against Madrid at Camp Nou on Wednesday. The two Spanish giants will go head to head on 6 February, with the first leg being held at the Camp Nou .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Sarri on thin ice following humiliating defeat
Feb 01, 2019 - 01:44
Sarri also invited his players to tell him if there was anything he was doing that meant they weren't responding to his methods. For me it was the possibility to observe Chelsea so I know the situation and I know they have difficulties.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Schumer Enters Fray as Trump’s Clash with Intel Chiefs Heats Up
Feb 01, 2019 - 01:16
He said afterwards that the two sides had made "a lot of progress" on denuclearization. Kim committed to denuclearisation after meeting with Trump a year ago .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Supreme Court bars Guaido from leaving Venezuela, freezes accounts
Jan 31, 2019 - 05:26
The poll was boycotted by the opposition in protest at the detention, barring and exile of many of their most prominent leaders. More than 40 people were killed and 850 detained in anti-Maduro protests last week, according to the United Nations.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Apple to fix bug in Facetime that allows users to eavesdrop
Jan 30, 2019 - 00:21
Apple on Monday night blocked the Group FaceTime feature as a temporary measure to prevent the exploitation of this bug. As always, bugs happen, so all we can do is wait and see how well and quickly Apple fixes it.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top What Lingard Did Outside Of The Emirates Stadium After Arsenal vs United
Jan 29, 2019 - 01:00
"At the moment I can see everyone staying at the club because no deals have been done with anyone, I think", Solskjaer said.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Venezuela's Guaido expresses concern over Greek position
Jan 29, 2019 - 00:54
Russian Federation and China back Maduro. "Australia calls for a transition to democracy in Venezuela as soon as possible". Pompeo named American diplomat Elliott Abrams as the Trump administration's new special envoy to Venezuela.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Donald Trump associate Roger Stone arrested, according to reports
Jan 29, 2019 - 00:46
The Trump campaign knew about Stone's involvement in seeking information on the Democrats, the complaint states. "2nd in Oct. Stone said he thinks he was targeted because he is a longtime friend of Trump and helped Trump to defeat Clinton.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump Lawyer Cohen Expected at Oversight, Intelligence Panels
Jan 28, 2019 - 00:29
He's only been threatened by the truth. "We will get his testimony", Cummings said. Cohen had to put his family and their safety first ", Cohen's statement read.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top David's Forecast - Mild Sunday Evening, Arctic blast arrives Monday
Jan 28, 2019 - 00:24
Thermometers only hit the mid-upper teens for highs for Wednesday and Thursday with light snow chances hanging around. Temperatures in central IL bottomed out even lower at the same time, with Rochelle getting down to minus 23.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Saints TE Ben Watson Eloquently Calls Out Roger Goodell
Jan 27, 2019 - 00:46
Not only should it have been a pass interference, but an additional flag for a helmet-to-helmet hit should have been thrown. The no-call has sparked outrage among the Saints and their fans, including calls for a Super Bowl boycott.