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Tuesday, 19 Mar 2019

Refugee footballer has returned home to Australia after two months of detention in Thailand

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Hakeem al-Araibi Hakeem al-Araibi

News24xx.com -  Finally, after two months got detention in Thailand, a refugee footballer named Hakeem al-Araibi has returned home to Australia. As information, al-Araibi was detained in Bangkok in November while on honeymoon, at the request of Bahrain authorities.

The professional footballer and vocal critic of Bahrain authorities had fled to Australia in 2014 where he was granted political asylum. And Bahrain had sentenced him to 10 years for vandalising a police station, a charges which he has denied.

Following international outcry and diplomatic pressure, the Arab kingdom ended its extradition attempt on Monday, February 11 2018. 

When he back home, hundreds of supporters cheered the arrival of the 25-year-old footballer at Melbourne Airport on Tuesday, February 12 2018. 

Wearing his team's football jersey, al-Araibi told the crowd: "I would like to say thanks to Australia. It's amazing to see all of the people here and all of the Australian people who supported me."

Hours before his return, his wife told the BBC she was deeply thankful for the lobbying efforts of the Australian government and public, and the international football community.

"I have had a smile all the time on my face and I can't stop crying - I am just so happy. I prayed that he would come back to me, and finally our nightmare is ending," said the 24-year-old, who does not wish to be named.

 

 

 

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