World: Refugee footballer freed by Thailand returns to Australia - PressFrom - US

WorldRefugee footballer freed by Thailand returns to Australia

05:25  12 february  2019
05:25  12 february  2019 Source:

Thailand blames Australia for arrest of refugee Bahraini footballer

Thailand blames Australia for arrest of refugee Bahraini footballer Thailand defended on Wednesday its arrest of a Bahraini footballer with refugee status in Australia, saying officials only detained him because Australian authorities sent an Interpol "red notice" after he boarded a plane to Bangkok. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Hakeem Al Araibi's case has drawn international criticism as a Thai court considers an extradition request from Bahrain for him to serve a 10-year sentence related to the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011. He denies the charges.

A football player and refugee whose detention in Thailand sparked an outcry has been freed from jail after Bahrain withdrew its extradition request. Hakeem Al-Araibi, who is a Bahraini citizen, fled to Australia in 2014 and was granted political asylum. He was detained in Bangkok in November on an

Hakeem al-Araibi, a Bahraini footballer who was granted refugee status and residency in Australia , was arrested in Thailand in late November while on People carrying placards and posters gather at Federation Square in Melbourne to call on Thailand to release a refugee footballer who has been

Refugee footballer freed by Thailand returns to Australia © 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)

CANBERRA, Australia — A refugee soccer player has returned home to a celebrity welcome in Australia hours after the threat of extradition to Bahrain was lifted three months after he was detained in Thailand.

Hundreds of supporters carrying welcome signs were waiting at Melbourne Airport on Tuesday when Hakeem al-Araibi arrived on a commercial flight direct from Bangkok.

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

Former Australia national team captain Craig Foster has been leading the campaign for al-Araibi's release. Foster said he could not sleep until he received word from Bangkok that al-Araibi's flight had left.

Emiliano Sala: Body found in search for missing footballer.
A body has been seen in the wreckage of the plane which was carrying missing footballer Emiliano Sala, the UK's Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has said. Underwater searches were carried out using specialist vessels on February 3 over the priority search area and, according to AAIB, uncovered an "object of interest" on the seabed. A remotely operated vehicle surveyed the area and, based on analysis of the video footage, investigators have concluded that the object was wreckage from the missing Piper Malibu aircraft.

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