Hakeem Al-Araibi is a professional footballer from Bahrain, and his name has been making headlines recently. He is presently at the center of a diplomatic dispute involving three different countries because of a controversial extradition attempt.
Al-araibi is recognized as a refugee by Australia after he fled Bahrain in 2014. He has been playing as a semi-professional in Australia for four years, but he could but could be forced back to his native country to serve time in prison.
Hakeem was arrested on when he arrived in Thailand from Australia for a vacation in November 2018. He was arrested and has been in a Thailand prison since November 2018 due to some allegations that arose nearly a decade ago. Here are 5 facts about Hakeem Al-araibi.
7 Facts About Hakeem Al-araibi.
1. Hakeem Al-Alraibi, a Bahraini footballer, was born on 7 November 1993. During his time at Bahrain, he was a professional footballer and played as a defender for the Bahrain national football team and for a club called Al-Shabab. Al-araibi even participated in the Olympics with Bahrain.
2. His brother, Emad is currently imprisoned in Bahrain for the same offense as Hakeem. Emad attracted the attention of Bahrain authorities because he was an activist before the 2011 uprising. One night in 2011, Bahrain police turned up at the family home, looking for him. When they found that Emad was not there, they took Hakeem, accused him of burning tires, which he denied, and held him for three months. He was later released.
3. Hakeem Al-araibi was arrested by Bahraini security forces. The authorities had accused him of vandalizing a police station four days earlier. The arrest was based on the acclaimed confession of his brother Emad. According to them, Emad told them that Hakeem had been part of a group of protestors who set upon the building with Molotov cocktails.
4. His detention lasted for 45 days, during which he claimed the Bahrain security forces attempted to torture a confession out of him. He was later bailed and left to play a match in Qatar. He used the opportunity to flee to Australia and was granted asylum.
5. He then lived in Melbourne and got married to his wife. He also continued playing football and played as a semi-professional footballer for Pascoe Vale FC in Melbourne
6. They flew to Thailand for their honeymoon but were arrested on arrival at Bangkok’s Airport. On the 4th of February 2019, he arrived at Bangkok’s court in shackles. It was ruled by the Thai attorney general’s office that he was a legitimate criminal and was granted 60 days to submit his legal defense to stop his extradition to Bahrain.
7. He still has to remain in Thai prison until his next court appearance on April 22 since he was denied bail. His case has been reported all over major news outlets in the world. The Australian government urged Thailand to free the footballer, saying “Thailand’s office of the attorney general has publicly confirmed Thailand’s extradition act allows for executive discretion in such cases. This was also confirmed by the prosecutor in the context of the hearing on February 5, 2019. It has been said that the Australian government has been doing a good job to help him out.
A lot of international bodies have called for his release including The Australian Government, Football Federation Australia (FFA), Professional Footballers Australia (PFA), and FIFA.