Australia scraps game in Thailand over Hakeem al-Araibi detention

08 February, 2019, 18:25 | Author: Carlos George
  • Hakeem Al Araibi Drogba

"I've written two letters now to the Thai prime minister and our consular officials and others have been using every opportunity they have to press the case to bring Hakeem home", he said on Wednesday.

"I'll take a day to review where we're at, next steps in the campaign, who to target and let everyone know shortly".

An Australia-based soccer star who is facing deportation to Bahrain has begged for help from the government and Prime Minister Scott Morrison after arriving at a Thai court in shackles on Monday.

A Bangkok court extended Araibi's detention by another two months on Monday, asking him to present his case in April when the judges reconvene.

Bahrain wants him returned to serve a 10-year prison sentence he received in absentia in 2014 for an alleged arson attack that damaged a police station, which he denies.

Al-Araibi's case has gained worldwide support, including from Didier Drogba and Jamie Vardy, after he was arrested in Thailand.

"Given. that he is a permanent resident of our country, on the pathway to citizenship, we have encouraged the Bahraini government not to proceed with the extradition application, and we have encouraged the Thai government to exercise the discretion that they have available to them", she told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation from the Solomon Islands.

The Foreign Ministry statement appeared to be a defensive response to the nearly daily public appeals Thailand has been receiving asking for al-Araibi's release.

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Chatchom Akapin, director-general for worldwide affairs at the Office of the Attorney-General, said several foreign defendants had jumped bail and did not show up in court.

Danthong Breen from the Union for Civil Liberty who helped organise the letter said it was unique as it involved local NGOs and was not driven by worldwide groups such as Amnesty and Human Rights Watch.

Football Federation Australia has scrapped a planned Olyroos training camp in Thailand due to the country's treatment of detained refugee player Hakeem al-Araibi.

Former Socceroos captain Craig Foster has been leading the fight to have al-Araibi freed and says Bahrain and Thailand should be threatened with immediate expulsion from world sport over the issue.

Diplomacy has wandered into the testy situation between Bahrain, Australia and Thailand in the case of jailed Bahraini footballer Hakeem al-Arabi.

Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement yesterday blaming Australia for Hakeem Al-Alraibi's extradition, reiterating that Australian Interpol had originally alerted Thai authorities to Hakeem's red notice. And I'd simply say this, it is within the executive authority of the Thai government to actually enable him under their law to be returned to Australia. The club was accused of being "tone deaf" and "failing to read the room".

In a statement, the FFA said the trip had been organised long before the crisis emerged and it remained fully supportive of Al-Araibi.

Bahrain this week issued a statement defending its decision to pursue al-Araibi after he allegedly fled while awaiting trial.



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