Australia scraps game in Thailand over Hakeem al-Araibi detention

Australia scraps game in Thailand over Hakeem al-Araibi detention

The footballer was arrested at Bangkok's global airport in November when he flew from Australia to Thailand with his wife for a honeymoon.

Al-Araibi, a former player on Bahrain's national team, says he fled Bahrain due to political repression and that he fears torture if he returns.

Thailand's foreign ministry on Wednesday described the case as "involving two countries competing for Mr Hakeem's custody".

Al-Araibi was arrested at Bangkok airport on 27 November on the basis of an Interpol red notice, issued to Bahrain by Interpol against its own policies created to protect refugees from the countries they fled.

Morrison's demand was made despite the fact that it was Australian Interpol that issued a "red notice" for al-Araibi a few days ahead of his departure for a honeymoon trip in Thailand.

"Thailand had previously not been aware of Mr. Hakeem's case and does not have any prejudice against him".

"We reassessed our plans due to the ongoing detainment of Australian footballer Hakeem al-Araibi in a Thai prison", head coach Graham Arnold said in a statement, adding that the FFA would look for another host country.

"Hakeem al-Araibi is a permanent Australian resident and footballer at Pascoe Vale FC", said FFA chief executive David Gallop.

"If Mr Hakeem's case was a political case or that he was a political refugee, Thailand would have no right to extradite him back to Bahrain under any circumstances".

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"The smile when he heard about [Chiellini] and [Drogba], never seen anything like it - a footballer's passion never dies", Foster wrote. "It is neither a political nor military offence so it qualifies according to the Extradition Act 2008", Mr Trumph said adding that the officers then chose to bring the case to court.

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. I'm respectfully reminding the Thai prime minister that Australians feel very strongly about this.

"He was shackled and I thought that was very upsetting and I know it would have upset many Australians", he said during an appearance on Sky News Australia.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has increased pressure on Thailand to release al-Araibi.

Thailand does not gain anything from having him in custody, but has legal obligations and commitments to the worldwide community, read the statement.

A source at the Immigration Bureau said bureau chief Pol Lt Gen Surachate "Big Joke" Hakparn will meet the Australian ambassador Wednesday to explain the extradition proceedings and discuss possible solutions.

But Amnesty International said Thai authorities were culpable for Araibi's detention and were attempting to "pass the buck" by urging Australia and Bahrain to find a diplomatic compromise.

Al-Araibi, who claims he was playing in a televised match when the attack took place, denies the charges.

The Gulf state issued a statement this week defending its decision to pursue Araibi after he fled while awaiting trial. "I have done nothing wrong in Bahrain but if I go back I will be tortured again and I will be sentenced to 12 years in jail".