Hakeem Al-Araibi will walk free after Bahrain drops extradition request
11 February, 2019, 12:23 | Author: Myra Gill
In November a year ago, he and his wife flew to Thailand for their honeymoon, believing his Australian visa allowed him to travel safely, but they were detained immediately when they landed at Bangkok's Airport in response to an Interpol "red notice".
"We have been informed that Bahrain wants to withdraw the (extradition) request. if they don't want him, we have no reason to keep him here", he told AFP.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had also repeatedly pushed for his release, saying that he had written letters to his Thai counterpart Prayut Chan-O-Cha and stressed "how strongly Australians feel about this".
He said the extradition case against Mr Al-Araibi was dropped by the Criminal Court on Monday afternoon.
The 25-year-old was detained in Bangkok more than two months ago for alleged vandalism offences in his native Bahrain.
The news will delight Al-Araibi and his supporters, who have launched a global campaign calling for his release.
He was convicted of vandalizing a police station during 2011 anti-government protests in Bahrain and sentenced in absentia after he fled. He has been living in Melbourne, where he plays for a semi-professional football team.
Mr Araibi has said he was blindfolded and had his legs beaten while he was held in Bahrain previously.
He eventually made it to Australia, where he was granted refugee status.
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Nadthasiri Bergman, Mr Araibi's lawyer, said the court had given her 60 days to submit the defence's case.
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