Bahraini footballer arrives in Australia after release from…


Hakeem al-Araibi, a refugee Bahraini footballer who was released from a Thai prison, is seen with Craig Foster as he arrives at the airport in Melbourne, Australia February 12, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media. Matt Burke/via REUTERS

SYDNEY (Reuters) – A refugee Bahraini footballer, who was held in a Thai prison for more than two months at the Gulf state’s request, arrived in the Australian city of Melbourne from Bangkok on Tuesday, Australian television pool footage showed.

Hakeem Al Araibi, 25, who fled Bahrain in 2014 and received refugee status in Australia, was released from prison on Monday. He was arrested in Bangkok in November while on honeymoon following an Interpol notice issued at Bahrain’s request.

The arrest drew widespread international condemnation and, under heavy diplomatic pressure, Bahrain agreed to drop its bid to have him extradited from Thailand.

Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Paul Tait

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