US News: Thai court orders release of Bahrain refugee soccer player - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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US NewsThai court orders release of Bahrain refugee soccer player

11:25  11 february  2019
11:25  11 february  2019 Source:   msn.com

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Hakeem Al -Araibi appeared in a Thai criminal court Monday to launch a formal challenge against Bahrain 's Outside the courtroom, former national Australian soccer player Francis Awaritefe, who is Al -Araibi has been openly critical of the Bahraini government and its record on human rights.

FILE PHOTO: Hakeem Al Araibi, a former member of Bahrain 's national soccer team who holds a refugee status in Australia arrives at court after he was World governing body FIFA also released a statement on Tuesday in which Secretary General Fatma Samoura called on the Thai and Bahraini

Thai court orders release of Bahrain refugee soccer player © The Associated Press FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 4, 2019, file photo, refugee soccer player Bahraini Hakeem al-Araibi leaves the criminal court in Bangkok, Thailand. A Thai court on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, has ordered the release of al-Araibi after prosecutors said they were no longer seeking his extradition to Bahrain. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit, File)

BANGKOK — A Thai court ordered the release of a refugee soccer player on Monday after prosecutors said they were no longer seeking his extradition to Bahrain in a case that had drawn worldwide attention.

Court spokesman Suriyan Hongvilai said that Hakeem al-Araibi was being processed for release.

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Thai prosecutors have submitted a request in court for Thailand to extradite to Bahrain a detained soccer player who has refugee status in Australia.

BANGKOK — Thai prosecutors submitted a request in court Friday for Thailand to extradite to Bahrain a detained soccer player who has refugee status in Australia. Hakeem al -Araibi, a former player on Bahrain 's national team

Thailand had come under great pressure from Australia's government, sporting bodies and human rights groups to send al-Araibi back to Australia, where he has refugee status and plays semi-professional soccer.

Thai court orders release of Bahrain refugee soccer player © AP Bahraini Hakeem al-Araibi was detained in Thailand after Australian authorities forwarded their Thai counterparts an Interpol Red Notice

Prosecutors on Monday submitted to court a request to withdraw the case to extradite al-Araibi to Bahrain, where he faces a 10-year prison sentence for an arson attack that damaged a police station. He has denied those charges and says the case is politically motivated.

Prosecutors made the decision after Thailand's foreign ministry sent their department a letter Monday morning that indicated that Bahrain had withdrawn its request for al-Araibi, said Chatchom Akapin, the director general of the attorney general office's international affairs department Thai court orders release of Bahrain refugee soccer player © Reuters Jailed Bahraini footballer Hakeem Al Araibi arrives at Thailand's Criminal Court

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Bahrain wants Hakeem al -Araibi, a political refugee playing soccer in Melbourne, extradited from Thailand . The case is seen as a test of how well FIFA can “The Thai court will be the one that makes the decision whether to send him to refuge in Australia or send him back to Bahrain ,” he said.

Hakeem Al -Araibi appeared in a Thai criminal court Monday to launch a formal challenge against Bahrain 's extradition request.

Officials in Bahrain, an island kingdom off the coast of Saudi Arabia that's home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, did not immediately respond to calls and emails seeking comment Monday.

The state-run Bahrain News Agency reported Sunday that Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa had a phone call with Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, but offered no specifics on their discussions.

Separately, BNA said Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa met Sunday with Thailand's foreign minister who was visiting the island. Again, no specifics on their talks was offered. Thai court orders release of Bahrain refugee soccer player © AP Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke for Hakeem al-Araibi's freedom

Al-Araibi, 25, a former Bahraini national team player, has said he fled his home country due to political repression. He has been living in Melbourne, where he plays for a semi-professional soccer team.

His supporters had said he should be freed and is protected under his status as a refugee with Australian residency. He was detained at the request of Bahrain relayed through Interpol upon his arrival in Bangkok in November while on honeymoon with his wife.

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BANGKOK A refugee Bahraini footballer who was arrested in Thailand while on vacation from his BANGKOK A Thai public prosecutor on Friday submitted to a criminal court Bahrain 's extradition Australia PM urges Thailand not to extradite Bahraini player . ABU DHABI Australia's Prime Minister

Two Australian divers who helped save 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave have written to the Thai prime minister to ask for the release of a Bahraini footballer with refugee status in Australia, media reported on Saturday. The case of Hakeem Al Araibi, 25, has drawn international

Al-Araibi, a former player on Bahrain's national team, says he fled Bahrain due to political repression and that he fears torture if he returns. Thai court orders release of Bahrain refugee soccer player © Reuters Jailed Bahraini footballer Hakeem Al Araibi leaves Thailand's Criminal Court, in Bangkok

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Thai court rules Hakeem al -Araibi, who has refugee status in Australia, can be held 60 days as Bahrain works on extradition request. 27 upon entry at Bangkok's main airport, was denied release on bail during his court appearance. Thai officials said he was originally held on the basis of a notice

Bahraini football player Hakeem al -Araibi answers questions from the waiting journalists as he is brought in to a court in Bangkok, Thailand . Thai prosecutors have submitted a request in court for Thailand to extradite to Bahrain a detained soccer player who has refugee status in Australia.

He has said he was blindfolded and had his legs beaten while he was held in Bahrain previously. He said he believed he was targeted for arrest because of his Shiite faith and because his brother was politically active in Bahrain. Bahrain has a Shiite majority but is ruled by a Sunni monarchy.

Former Australia national team captain Craig Foster, who has been leading the campaign for al-Araibi's release, praised all those who worked on the campaign.

"Many wonderful people stepped forward to help Hakeem," he wrote Monday in comments on Twitter. "They all deserve to be in front of camera now, not only me. I can't list them, but will thank each of them in time. My thoughts are with Hakeem's wife. Her nightmare will shortly be at an end. Our prayers answered." Thai court orders release of Bahrain refugee soccer player © Getty Hakeem al-Araibi, a Bahraini refugee and Australian resident, is escorted to a courtroom in Bangkok

Thailand's Foreign Ministry said in a statement last week that al-Araibi was detained because Australian authorities had forwarded them an Interpol Red Notice that Bahrain was seeking his arrest. Australian police acknowledge doing so, but there have been questions raised about why the Red Notice appeared to have been issued just before al-Araibi departed on his trip, and whether Bahraini authorities had been tipped off about his travel plans.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had in recent weeks has spoken out strongly on behalf of al-Araibi's freedom.

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Associated Press writer Jon Gambrell in Dubai contributed to this report.

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