Thai court orders release of Bahrain refugee soccer player

Bill Shorten wants to meet with the detained man's wife

Bill Shorten wants to meet with the detained man's

The extradition case against refugee footballer Hakeem Al-Araibi has been dropped and he will be flying home soon, the Thai attorney-general's office has confirmed.

Since al-Araibi's arrest hit global headlines, Australia has been at the forefront of the demand for his immediate release, arguing that he was a refugee with Australian residency and should not be arrested or face trial.

Mr Araibi was reportedly freed at 3.55pm on Monday and was expected to return to Australia on Monday night.

Officials in Bahrain did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

A police auto believed to be carrying Bahraini footballer Hakeem Al Araibi is pictured as it leaves the Bangkok's Remand Prison, Thailand, February 11, 2019.

Mr Araibi, 25, a former Bahraini national team player, has said he fled his home country due to political repression.

A Bahraini court sentenced him in absentia to 10 years in prison over claims by Bahraini authorities that he and a group of protesters attacked a police station with petrol bombs during the Arab Spring uprising.

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He was detained upon his arrival in Bangkok in November while on a holiday at the request of Bahrain relayed through Interpol.

Araibi has said he wants to return to Australia, where he has lived since 2014 and plays for a Melbourne football club.

Sounds familiar: Even a Bahrain government-ordered investigation reported deaths from torture in 2011 and said detainees were electrocuted, beaten on the soles of their feet, otherwise abused and reported being squeezed into tiny cells, sexually assaulted and other horrors. Bahrain has a Shiite majority but is ruled by a Sunni monarchy.

Campaigners believe the case was bogus and have unearthed footage they say supports his claim that he was playing in a televised match at the time.

The Bangkok court previously set an April 22 date for the next hearing.

"Fifa is committed to protecting human rights".

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