Thai Court Orders Release of Bahraini Refugee Soccer Player

Thai Court Orders Release of Bahraini Refugee Soccer Player

Thai Court Orders Release of Bahraini Refugee Soccer Player

The director general of the attorney general office's global affairs department said prosecutors on Monday submitted to court a request to withdraw the case to extradite al-Araibi to Bahrain, where he faces a 10-year prison sentence for an arson attack that damaged a police station.

"We have been informed that Bahrain wants to withdraw the (extradition) request".

Al-Araibi is expected to touch down in Melbourne about 1pm on Tuesday after spending more than two months in a Bangkok prison.

The statement has been slammed by fans, given Bahrain had said al-Araibi's conviction remains in place and "Bahrain reaffirms its right to pursue all necessary legal actions against Mr al-Araibi".

Campaigners believe the case was bogus and have unearthed footage they say supports his claim that he was playing in a televised match at the time.

Al-Araibi faces a 10-year prison sentence for an arson attack that damaged a police station.

But tonight Thai authorities finally relented after Bahrain apparently dropped their extradition demands and allowed Hakeem to be released.

FILE PHOTO: Jailed Bahraini footballer Hakeem Al Araibi leaves Thailand's Criminal Court, in Bangkok, Thailand February 4, 2019.

The Thai Foreign Ministry later declined to give details of why Bahrain asked for the case to be dropped.

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Wright, 26, was averaging 6.9 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in a depth role with the Raptors this season. He had surgery after suffering a dislocated left thumb on December 12 and has not played since.

The player fled Bahrain in 2014 and now plays for semi-professional Melbourne-based club Pascoe Vale.

'"He is on his way to the airport, the next step is for him to return home". Bahrain has a Shiite majority but is ruled by a Sunni monarchy.

Alqunun fled her family to Bangkok while on holiday in Kuwait but was detained by authorities shortly after arrival.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, after earlier criticizing Thai authorities' handling of the case, said Monday evening, "We greatly respect the process that they've had to work through, and we greatly appreciate their listening to the issues that have been raised by our government and many others who have raised this case".

The Guardian has been told by Gulf democracy advocates and al-Araibi's Thai lawyer that the Thai government has pulled the extradition case out of the courts.

After his arrest in Bahrain, al-Araibi said police tortured him.

Bahraini authorities deny allegations of torture.

The move comes just days after the two Australians who helped mount the Thai cave rescue, Australians of the Year Craig Challen and Richard Harris, sent a letter to the Thai government, pleading for mercy for Hakeem.

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