Refugee in danger of torture
A REFUGEE soccer player who lives in Australia fears he will be tortured if he’s deported to Bahrain from Thailand, where he was arrested while on holiday.
Hakeem AlAraibi, 25, was detained at Bangkok airport on November 27 on an Interpol warrant issued at the request of Bahrain.
AlAraibi, who plays for semi-professional Pascoe Vale in the National Premier Leagues Victoria, is expected to face court as Thai immigration authorities proceed with extradition to Bahrain.
“This might be my last message. I still don’t know whether I will be deported to Bahrain,” AlAraibi said.
“If I am deported to Bahrain, don’t forget me.”
In 2014, AlAraibi was sentenced in absentia to 10 years in prison for allegedly vandalising a police station in Bahrain, which he denies.
He says he was overseas playing a televised match when the police station vandalism occurred.
Before his arrest, he had been holidaying in Thailand with his wife and was due to fly back to Melbourne.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne said diplomats continued to make strong representations on his behalf.