Bahraini Soccer Star and Refugee Hakeem Al-Araibi Released Amidst INTERPOL Red Notice Complications

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Saturday, February 23, 2019
Zarine Kharazian and Alex Psilakis

On February 12, 2019, Hakeem al-Araibi returned home to Australia, bringing to an end a three-month legal struggle involving Bahrain, Thailand, and Australia. The 25 year old soccer player, who was once a star of the Bahraini national team, has lived in Australia as a refugee since 2017. He fled Bahrain in 2011 because of a government crackdown on Arab Spring protestors, as he had previously spoken out against the country’s human rights record, and alleges that he faced arrest and torture there. Bahraini authorities have had an arrest warrant out for al-Araibi since 2014, when he was convicted of vandalizing a police station.