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Arrest instead of a honeymoon

"stop it! Please, stop them!" These words are called from the beginning of December, a mid-twenties, a couple of journalists. The young man with athletic stature, short hair and a five day beard and handcuffs. He is led by security officers into a court building. The prisoner is Hakeem al-Araibi, a former Bahraini national team player and an Australian resident and a recognized refugee.

On the 27. November made the Bahrainis Araibi and his wife on the way to their honeymoon. But after landing in Bangkok Years of the journey was over for the 26-already. He was arrested in the airport by the local security authorities and sitting since then in a Thai prison cell. His home country of Bahrain, the arrest of the footballer ordered. Thailand followed.

During the Arab spring beginning in the spring of 2011 in various Parts of the Arab region to protest against the Ruling. So also in Araibis home to Bahrain. The predominantly Shiite population of the Kingdom rebelled against the Sunni ruling house. The wave of protests in the island nation abated after a few months. Has changed due to the Demonstration in the country a little – a lot, but in the life of the Shiites Hakeem al-Araibi.

For 60 days in custody

in 2012, the athlete was arrested and – according to the own statements of the tortured. The accusation: He is said to have been involved during the Arab spring in an attack on a police station. Araibi denies the fact until today. After his release, he fled to Australia, applied for asylum and was officially recognized as a refugee. Since then, he played for various Australian Teams, most recently in Pascoe Vale FC, a second division team from Melbourne. In his homeland he was convicted in 2014 in absentia to ten years in prison.

Now he sits for more than 60 days in a Thai prison, and the Bahrain authorities to prepare the official request for extradition. Araibi fear of death: "you will take me, torture and maybe even kill." He had angered the government of Bahrain, the old accusations were only a pretext, he says. What he means: He criticized in an Interview with Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa. The man is not only the current President of the Asian football Confederation (AFC), he is also a member of the Bahraini Royal family. And not considered to be receptive to criticism.

Bahrain makes international law

For the release Araibis, Fifa, the IOC and other sports organizations. The world football Association described the Situation as "very worrying" and urged the Thai government to "do the Right thing," IOC President Thomas Bach appealed to the UN high Commissioner for refugees, Filippo Grandi, and AFC Vice-President Praful Patel has asked Thailand to "take the necessary steps for a safe return to Australia".

And on the other side? Bahrain calls – how ironic – on international law. Thailand, which has signed the Geneva Convention never says nothing.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 29.01.2019, 21:19 PM

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