The extradition bid against Hakeem Al Araibi was dropped and this means the Bahraini player is free to go back to Australia to play.
Bahraini footballer Hakeem Al Araibi is now free after almost three months in a Thailandese jail, where he was waiting for his extradition to his home country.
Al Araibi was a vocal critic of the Bahraini government, and after he was wrongly convicted of vandalism.
According to the government, the footballer and a group of persons tried to set a police station on fire in 2012.
But Al Araibi was taking part in a televised football match when the incident happened, which the authorities did not care at all.
He flew to Australia to look for a better life as a refugee and he had been playing there since 2015, as part of four different teams.
But in November 2018, he visited Thailand with his wife for their belated honeymoon, and he was detained and put in jail awaiting his extradition to his native country.
FIFA and many different governing bodies tried to help him, and today he was released and is free to go back to Australia to continue his football career.
“There are no grounds to hold him anymore. It is his right to decide where he will go next. He is a free man,” said Chatchom Akapin, an official in the Thai Attorney-General’s office according to reporting by Reuters.
“We greatly respect the process that they have had to work through and we greatly appreciate their listening to the issues that have been raised by our government and many others,” Australian prime minister Scott Morrison
“My thanks go to the wonderful people of Thailand for your support and to the Thai government for upholding international law,” former Australia captain Craig Foster said on Twitter.
Thailand will release Bahraini footballer Hakeem Al Araibi, after Bahrain abandoned its bid to seek his extradition. Human rights activists say he could face torture if sent back to Bahrain, where he was a vocal critic of the authorities. pic.twitter.com/WRmjyO2HPe
— BFM News (@NewsBFM) February 11, 2019