Hakeem al-Araibi

Picture copyright
Getty Photos

Picture caption

Hakeem al-Araibi was detained in Thailand in November

The spouse of a refugee footballer free of detention in Thailand says the couple’s nightmare is lastly over.

Hakeem al-Araibi, a Bahraini citizen, will return residence to Australia on Tuesday after being held for 2 months in a Bangkok jail.

He was detained in November on an Interpol discover requested by Bahrain, after travelling to Thailand on honeymoon.

A world human rights marketing campaign for his launch succeeded on Monday.

The footballer’s spouse instructed the BBC she was deeply grateful for the lobbying efforts of the Australian authorities and public, and the worldwide soccer neighborhood.

“I’ve had a smile on a regular basis on my face and I can not cease crying – I’m simply so joyful,” mentioned the 24-year-old, who doesn’t want to be named.

“I prayed and prayed that he would come again to me, and at last our nightmare is ending.”

She had not been capable of converse along with her husband for weeks, and mentioned she deliberate to “purchase flowers and truffles” to have fun their reunion in Melbourne.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison tweeted on Monday: “We stay up for seeing you residence, Hakeem.”

The 25-year-old footballer fled to Australia from Bahrain in 2014, the place he was granted political asylum.

Whereas in Australia, he was sentenced in absentia to 10 years for vandalising a police station, prices which he has denied.

Human rights activists had warned that al-Araibi, as a vocal critic of Bahrain authorities, may face torture if despatched again to the Arab kingdom.

Last month, his wife had issued a plea for world leaders to stress the Thai authorities for his launch.

Lobbying was additionally spearheaded by Craig Foster, a former Australian nationwide soccer captain and host, who rallied the worldwide soccer neighborhood.

Soccer stars together with Didier Drogba and Jamie Vardy additionally drew consideration to the marketing campaign.

On Monday, Thai officials told the BBC they had released al-Araibi as a result of Bahrain was now not in search of his extradition.

Bahrain’s overseas ministry mentioned that regardless of the top of courtroom extradition proceedings, the footballer’s conviction nonetheless stood.

“The Kingdom of Bahrain reaffirms its proper to pursue all essential authorized actions towards Mr al-Araibi,” it added.

Mr Morrison mentioned on Monday he was grateful to Bangkok for “listening to the problems” raised by his nation.

Al-Araibi is anticipated to be greeted by a crowd of supporters, together with his soccer workforce, Pascoe Vale FC upon his return to Melbourne on Tuesday afternoon.