Thai court orders release of Bahrain refugee soccer player

11 Février, 2019, 11:06 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • 4 2019 Hakeem al-Araibi a Bahraini refugee and Australian resident is escorted to a courtroom in Bangkok

The extradition case against refugee footballer Hakeem Al-Araibi has been dropped and he is expected to be released from prison on Monday, Thailand's attorney-general's office has confirmed.

Al-Araibi was jailed and beaten in Bahrain during a crackdown on pro-democracy athletes.

Director of the department's global affairs section, Chatchom Akapin, said Bahrain had requested that the case be dropped.

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 a request for comment Monday.

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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 fled the country in 2014 before being granted permanent residence in Australia, where he has lived since.

Al-Araibi was arrested and detained last November, while on his honeymoon in Thailand at the request of the Bahraini government. He has been living in Melbourne, where he plays for a semi-professional soccer team.

He eventually made it to Australia, where he was granted refugee status. Bahrain has a Shiite majority but is ruled by a Sunni monarchy.

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