In this file photo taken on February 04, 2019 Hakeem al-Araibi, a Bahraini refugee and Australian resident, is escorted to a courtroom in Bangkok. - Thailand has ended the extradition proceedings against refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi on February 11, a prosecutor said

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AFP

A soccer participant and refugee whose detention in Thailand sparked an outcry shall be freed after Bahrain withdrew its extradition request, officers say.

Hakeem Al-Araibi, who’s a Bahraini citizen, fled to Australia in 2014 and was granted political asylum.

He was detained in Bangkok in November on an Interpol discover requested by Bahrain. He had travelled to the Thai capital on honeymoon.

He was sentenced in absentia to 10 years for vandalising a police station.

Al-Araibi, 25, denies the fees and human rights activists say he may face torture if despatched again to Bahrain. He has been a vocal critic of Bahraini authorities.

His case has been taken up by high-profile footballers, with stars together with Didier Drogba and Jamie Vardy calling for his launch. The Australian authorities, Fifa and the Worldwide Olympic Committee all lobbied Thailand

Thailand’s Workplace of the Legal professional Normal (OAG) requested the court docket to finish proceedings in opposition to Al-Araibi as a result of Bahrain had stated it now not wished him, officers informed BBC Thai on Monday.

“This morning the Ministry of International Affairs knowledgeable us that Bahrain was now not on this request,” OAG overseas workplace chief Chatchom Akapin stated.

Thailand’s overseas minister was in Bahrain over the weekend for an official go to and met with senior leaders.

Craig Foster, a former Australian nationwide soccer captain and TV host who spearheaded the marketing campaign to free Hakeem, stated there have been “tears” in his family “proper now”.

Al-Araibi performs for Pascoe Vale FC in Melbourne.

Final month, his spouse informed the BBC that extradition would put him in peril.

“I am calling on each nation to assist Hakeem as a result of I do know if he will get taken again he shall be tortured, and he shall be killed,” she stated.

However Bahrain stated al-Araibi had been sentenced by an impartial judiciary “on costs involving critical violence and criminality, unrelated to any attainable freedom of opinion/expression points”.

It stated his security could be “assured” if he returned to Bahrain to enchantment in opposition to the sentence.

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EPA

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Hakeem’s arrest induced an outcry in Australia

Human rights activists in Bahrain lauded Monday’s information.

“It is a enormous victory for the human rights motion in Bahrain, Thailand and Australia, and even the entire world,” stated Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei of the London-based marketing campaign group the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy.

“Hakeem’s ordeal ended after 70 days when there was a transparent public stance and solidarity motion. The soccer neighborhood, the human rights motion and all of those that devoted their time and efforts to finish this injustice had been rewarded.”