BANGKOK, Feb 11 - A refugee Bahraini footballer was freed from Thai prison today after Bahrain abandoned its bid to seek his extradition.
Hakeem Al Araibi, 25, who fled Bahrain in 2014 and received refugee status in Australia, was stopped in Thailand in November while attempting to go on his honeymoon upon an Interpol notice issued at Bahrain's request.
He was convicted of damaging a police station during 2011 anti-government protests in Bahrain and sentenced in absentia after he fled. Araibi denies the charges.
However, Bahrain has withdrawn the request, leading a Thai court to approve a motion by prosecutors to drop the case against the footballer.
The Australian government has repeatedly called for Araibi's return. 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.
the Middle East nation's reversal of the extradition request is surprising move.