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Hakeem al-Araibi: Refugee footballer to return to Australia

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Hakeem al-Araibi was once detained in Thailand in November

The spouse of a refugee footballer free of detention in Thailand says the couple’s nightmare is in any case over.

Hakeem al-Araibi, a Bahraini citizen, will go back house to Australia on Tuesday after being held for 2 months in a Bangkok jail.

He was once detained in November on an Interpol realize asked via Bahrain, after travelling to Thailand on honeymoon.

A world human rights marketing campaign for his free up succeeded on Monday.

The footballer’s spouse instructed the BBC she was once deeply grateful for the lobbying efforts of the Australian executive and public, and the global soccer group.

“I’ve had a grin always on my face and I will be able to’t forestall crying – I’m simply so glad,” mentioned the 24-year-old, who does now not want to be named.

“I prayed and prayed that he would come again to me, and in any case our nightmare is finishing.”

She had now not been ready to talk along with her husband for weeks, and mentioned she deliberate to “purchase flora and desserts” to have fun their reunion in Melbourne.

Australian High Minister Scott Morrison tweeted on Monday: “We stay up for seeing you house, Hakeem.”

The 25-year-old footballer fled to Australia from Bahrain in 2014, the place he was once granted political asylum.

Whilst in Australia, he was once sentenced in absentia to 10 years for vandalising a police station, fees which he has denied.

Human rights activists had warned that al-Araibi, as a vocal critic of Bahrain government, may just face torture if despatched again to the Arab kingdom.

Ultimate month, his spouse had issued a plea for global leaders to power the Thai executive for his free up.

Lobbying was once additionally spearheaded via Craig Foster, a former Australian nationwide soccer captain and host, who rallied the global soccer group.

Soccer stars together with Didier Drogba and Jamie Vardy additionally drew consideration to the marketing campaign.

On Monday, Thai officers instructed the BBC that they had launched al-Araibi as a result of Bahrain was once not searching for his extradition.

Bahrain’s overseas ministry mentioned that regardless of the top of courtroom extradition court cases, the footballer’s conviction nonetheless stood.

“The Kingdom of Bahrain reaffirms its proper to pursue all vital felony movements in opposition to Mr al-Araibi,” it added.

Mr Morrison mentioned on Monday he was once grateful to Bangkok for “being attentive to the problems” raised via his country.

Al-Araibi is anticipated to be greeted via a crowd of supporters, together with his soccer group, Pascoe Vale FC upon his go back to Melbourne on Tuesday afternoon.


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