Hakeem Al-Araibi To Be Freed After Thai Court Drops Extradition Case

Cheryl Sanders
February 11, 2019

A police vehicle believed to be carrying Bahraini footballer Hakeem Al Araibi is pictured as it leaves the Bangkok's Remand Prison, Thailand, February 11, 2019.

Mr Araibi was reportedly freed at 3.55pm on Monday and was expected to return to Australia on Monday night.

Mr Al-Araibi, who fled Bahrain in 2014 before being granted permanent residence in Australia, was arrested while on honeymoon in Bangkok in November on an Interpol notice issued at Bahrain's request.

Refugee footballer Hakeem Al-Araibi in Bangkok.

Al-Araibi plays for Pascoe Vale FC in Melbourne. He said he believed he was targeted for arrest because of his Shiite faith and because his brother was politically active in Bahrain.

The pity is, the past two months of detention and fears he would be tortured on return to Bahrain could have all been avoided.

"Thanks go to the wonderful people of Thailand for your support and to Thai Government for upholding global law", Foster said.

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

It was not immediately clear when Bahrain withdrew its extradition request. The Australian government, Fifa and other football bodies have supported his case.

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

Foreign minister Marise Payne said there were still "a number of steps to go in this process" but said al-Araibi would hopefully be back in Australia in the next day or so.

She said she requested his release on bail but it was denied because the court deemed him a flight risk.

Other reports by iNewsToday