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Hakeem al-Araibi faces further 60 days in Thai jail after extradition hearing

Author: Helen Davidson, The Guardian (UK), Published on: 4 February 2019

Refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi has been given 60 days to prepare a defence against Bahrain’s attempt to extradite him from Thailand...Al-Araibi arrived at Bangkok’s Ratchadaphisek criminal court on Monday morning shackled and barefoot with more than a dozen other prisoners...His appearance...marked the formal beginning of proceedings after Bahrain’s extradition request was formally accepted for consideration on Friday. In court, Al-Araibi stood as the judge read out Bahrain’s allegations against him. He told the court he refused to be extradited.

Allan McKinnon, Australia’s ambassador designate, as well as delegates from other countries and embassies, appeared as a “coalition of support”, according to Craig Foster, the former Australian Socceroo captain who is spearheading the campaigning to free al-Araibi. The coalition included representatives of 14 countries and the European Union. Federico Addiechi, head of sustainability and diversity at Fifa, also attended the hearing to show football’s governing body supported al-Araibi.

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