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BANGKOK 19 February 2019 01:03
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'He is a free man' - refugee Bahraini footballer heads home to Australia

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Bahraini footballer Hakeem al-Araibi arrives in Melbourne

 

2019-02-12T023559Z_1_LYNXNPEF1B03F_RTROPTP_4_THAILAND-BAHRAIN-REFUGEE.JPG

 

Hakeem al-Araibi, a refugee Bahraini footballer who was released from a Thai prison, arrives in Melbourne, Australia February 12, 2019 in this still image taken from video. Australian Pool via REUTERS TV

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I do hope they sent him Business Class to regain some of the face they lost!

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Thailand paid for his airfare. Looks like he got an economy ride home.

 

 I'm sure he'd have much preferred a 1st class ride home with Qantas.

 

Not sure I'd be happy travelling on a Thai flight in fact I'd have refused the offer concerned the flight would have been diverted to Bahrain.

 

 

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Apparently a couple of high profile cave divers were involved in the release 😀

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Australian supporters cheer refugee Bahraini footballer freed from Thai jail

 

2019-02-12T025151Z_1_LYNXNPEF1B04B_RTROPTP_4_THAILAND-BAHRAIN-REFUGEE.JPG

Hakeem al-Araibi, a refugee Bahraini footballer who was released from a Thai prison, is seen with Craig Foster as he arrives at the airport in Melbourne, Australia February 12, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media. Matt Burke/via REUTERS

 

SYDNEY (Reuters) - A refugee Bahraini footballer, who was held in a Thai prison for more than two months at the Gulf state's request, arrived in the Australian city of Melbourne from Bangkok on Tuesday, Australian television pool footage showed.

 

Hakeem Al Araibi, 25, who fled Bahrain in 2014 and received refugee status in Australia, was released from prison on Monday. Authorities in Bahrain accused Araibi of crimes committed during the Arab Spring protests of 2011, charges which he denied.

 

"Australia is my country. I don't have citizenship yet, but my country is Australia ... I love Australia," Araibi said after he disembarked in Melbourne airport from a Thai Airways flight.

 

Hundreds of supporters clamoured to embrace him, TV footage showed. He wore the playing shirt of Pascoe Vale, the semi-professional team he plays for in Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city.

 

He thanked his supporters, who cheered: "Welcome home Hakeem!"

 

Araibi was arrested in Bangkok in November while on honeymoon following an Interpol notice issued at Bahrain's request.

 

His arrest drew widespread international condemnation. Bahrain, under heavy diplomatic pressure, agreed to drop its bid to have him extradited from Thailand.

 

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Paul Tait)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-02-12

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1 hour ago, happy chappie said:

Yes and lots of member saying I should know the facts about this case on another post that has been closed.bahrain has not issued an illegal Interpol red notice.no single country can.they apply to the general secretariat of Interpol who then vets and makes sure it complies with each case before publishing a red notice.so it isn't Bahrain who have messed up.the whole idea of Interpol is to find the whereabouts of a person and detain them as there whereabouts and status are unknown.if Bahrain had known he was in Australia they would of applied direct to them as they are doing now.how on earth Interpol would of known about his refugee status and where he was and his travel plans is just speculation by some members.so there was no illegal red notice.so now Bahrain has found out his whereabouts they have applied for his extradition which will be turned down for sure.

When Australia does receive such a request, I can assure you they will be told in the most appropriate way that there request is declined, me personally, I wouldn't be so diplomatic, I would enclose a photo of my middle finger along with the denied documentation, just so they get a clear message of which photos sometimes do help.

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On another level if the Thai government can reverse its decision at the drop of a hat about extradition because of international pressure, why can't they do the same around expat residence visa financial requirements, or is that 'another department'. Or is the 'what's in for me' factor not strong enough for them to drop the additional requirement of keeping money in a Thai bank three months after the visa is granted?

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Another red notice disappears into foggy dusky pink air of Bangkok and sure never to be seen here again🤔

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1 hour ago, wendyfromoz said:

on Australian news a few minutes ago, Bahrain has served papers on the Australian Ambassador in Saudi Arabia for the arrest of Hakeem Al Araibi and extridiction to Bahrain.

Are they stupid or what. Hakeem has been granted international refugee  sanction.

Edited by Huckenfell

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1 minute ago, Bluespunk said:

No, we mean the country that has given him refugee status and did all it could to achieve the right outcome to this debacle.

The Australian government would not have stood up for him if he was some ordinary Joe. Australia is not the most friendly place towards refugees. They send refugees to some island and PNG processes them. They don't even want then to set foot on their shore at all. This was a political stunt. Sorry the guy got caught up it but Australia is no land of hope and glory for the normal or financially strapped refugee.

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