BANGKOK, Feb 4 (TNA) – Bahraini footballer Hakeem Al Araibi, 25, called for help when he was brought to the Criminal Court on Bahrain’s request for his extradition which he strongly opposed.
The court was considering public prosecutors’ proposal for the extradition in response to the request from the Bahraini government that wanted him for arson and damage of public properties during the Arab Spring movement in 2012.
Mr Araibi shouted at the court he did not want to return to Bahrain and asked all parties to help him and not to forget him. Diplomats from about 10 countries observed the situation at the court.
The footballer told the court he would not return to his homeland. His lawyer Nadthasiri Bergman said Bahrain’s charges against him were politically motivated and did not justify the extradition.
A Bahraini court had sentenced Mr Araibi in absentia to 10 years in jail for setting fire on a police station in 2012. He received political asylum in Australia and played in a professional league there.
He arrived in Thailand for vacation with his wife on Nov 27 and was arrested by immigration police. He was detained at the Bangkok Remand Prison.
The Criminal Court told him to present his written opposition to the extradition request within April 5.