Thai attorney general opposes bail for Bahrain refugee footballer

Share

This sudden change of heart appears a blatant reaction to pressure from Bahrain to extradite Mr al-Araibi.

The Thai foreign ministry updated a statement on the case early on Wednesday, which it described as "involving two countries competing for Mr. Hakeem's custody".

"FIFA is committed to protecting human rights".

However, the week-long camp will be rearranged and held elsewhere in Asia after FFA decided Thailand was no longer an appropriate destination in light of ongoing detention of al-Araibi, a former Bahrani worldwide who was granted refugee status in Australia and plays for Pascoe Value in NPL Victoria.

The former Bahraini global will face court again in April as he looks to avoid extradition back to his homeland where he claims he'll face torture and possible death for speaking out against the royal family.

"The Bahraini government knew that he would be arriving in Thailand so they coordinated with Thailand's permanent secretary of foreign affairs to detain him, pending documents sent from Bahrain", Surachet told BBC Thai.

Australian soccer authorities have canceled a game in Thailand to protest the continued detention in Bangkok of a refugee player who is fighting extradition to Bahrain.

Araibi, 25, flew to Thailand in late November a year ago for a week-long honeymoon with his wife. "By that time legal proceedings in Thailand ... could not be reversed".

Australia continued to advocate on al-Araibi's behalf at the highest levels in both Thailand and Bahrain, Payne said.

Australia has called for Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to personally intervene and free the semi-professional footballer.

The Thai attorney general has since said Al-Araibi's fate will be decided in the courts and not by the Thai government.

The 25-year-old says he faces torture in Bahrain and wants to return to Australia, where he has lived since 2014 and plays for a Melbourne football club.

He was detained upon his arrival in Bangkok in November while on honeymoon and subsequently was held pending the completion of the extradition request by Bahrain.

It said he had been granted bail to travel for a football tournament and had violated the terms while taking "special consideration granted to him as a sportsman".

A court filing last week from Thai prosecutors noted that while Thailand and Bahrain do not have an extradition treaty, extradition is still possible by law if Bahrain makes an official request - which it did - and if the crime is punishable by more than a year's imprisonment and is not politically motivated or a military violation.

The Australia U-23s were scheduled to train in the country and also play China in a friendly match in Bangkok as part of their preparations for the 2020 AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers which are to be held in Cambodia from March 22.

It also said that under the UN Convention Against Torture, to which Thailand is a state party, countries are urged not to deport people to territories where they fear "persecution, torture, cruel treatment or a life-threatening situation".

Bahraini authorities claimed a group of protesters, including Mr al-Araibi and his brother, Emad, attacked a police station with petrol bombs during the Arab Spring uprising.

Share