Tortured Bahraini footballer returns to Australia


This 11 February 2019 video says about itself:

Hakeem al-Araibi returns to Australia after two months in Thai prison | ABC News

Australian footballer and refugee Hakeem al-Araibi has arrived home in Melbourne after being freed from the Thai prison where he was held awaiting an extradition hearing.

Read more here.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

After a few scary months in Thailand, Bahraini footballer Hakeem al-Araibi is back home in Australia. Hundreds of fans and friends were waiting for him at Melbourne Airport.

The 25-year-old Araibi was arrested in November during his honeymoon because he was wanted via Interpol. Bahrain had an international arrest order outstanding to Araibi.

Araibi used to play in the national team of Bahrain. He fled the country in 2014 after being indicted in connection with protests against the government during the Arab Spring in 2011. In Australia he plays for Pascoe Vale in the second division.

At the airport, the footballer showed that he was happy to be back. “Australia is my country,” Araibi said. “I do not have the nationality yet, but this is my country, I love Australia.” …

The FIFA world football association and various football professionals had expressed criticism of the arrest.

Hakeem Al-Araibi, a football player and refugee with permanent residency in Australia, was freed by authorities in Thailand yesterday after they dropped court proceedings to extradite him to Bahrain, where he faced politically-motivated charges. Al-Araibi flew to his home in Melbourne, Australia overnight. The release of Al-Araibi is undoubtedly a welcome development. Had the 25-year-old been extradited to his native Bahrain, Al-Araibi would have faced abuse, imprisonment and possibly worse at the hands of the despotic US-backed Middle Eastern regime: here.

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