Published: Mon, February 11, 2019
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Western Sydney Wanderers support Hakeem Al-Araibi by hiding Thai Airways sponsorship

Western Sydney Wanderers support Hakeem Al-Araibi by hiding Thai Airways sponsorship

A Thai court approved the request to drop extradition proceedings, according to Chatchom Akapin, director general of Foreign Affairs for the Office of the Attorney General.

Former Socceroos captain and prominent broadcaster Craig Foster led the campaign to have him freed, ABC News in Australia reported.

As a recognised refugee travelling on an Australian travel document, Araibi should never have been subject to an Interpol red notice. He has been living in Melbourne, where he plays for a semi-professional football team.

A Bahraini court sentenced him in absentia to 10 years in prison over claims by Bahraini authorities that he and a group of protesters attacked a police station with petrol bombs during the Arab Spring uprising.

Separately, BNA said Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa met Sunday with Thailand's foreign minister who was visiting the island. He said he believed he was targeted for arrest because of his Shiite faith and because his brother was politically active in Bahrain. He says he faces torture if returned to Bahrain.

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On Monday evening, Foster tweeted his thanks to Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his Government.

The Australian government has repeatedly called for Araibi's return and the case has become a cause celebre in the football world, with FIFA also urging the Thai premier to intervene.

"The court will now issue an order to release Mr Hakeem from jail today", said Chatchom, the director-general of the office's global affairs department.

"We have been informed that Bahrain wants to withdraw the (extradition) request. if they don't want him, we have no reason to keep him here", he told AFP. She said "a great deal" of work had gone on behind the scenes.

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