For larger than two months, Hakeem al-Araibi has been detained in Bangkok ready for that you just might per chance imagine extradition – with little recommendation that Thailand or Bahrain would free him.
When I visited him 10 days ago at the metropolis’s Remand Penal complex, where he became as soon as sharing a cell with 48 others, he became as soon as losing hope.
Al-Araibi became as soon as granted refugee situation in Australia in 2017, after claiming he became as soon as tortured in his native Bahrain following the Arab Spring protests.
This day’s surprising announcement that the Criminal Court has authorized the withdrawal of his extradition request has near as a surprise to many, and the 25-year-feeble is now heading dwelling to Australia.
Obedient every week ago, he arrived at courtroom – barefoot with ankles shackled – to listen to a date had been location in April for his extradition hearing. His utility for bail became as soon as refused.
But photos from that day of a comely refugee being resulted in the courtroom in chains sparked global outrage online, right away magnifying the rising calls to launch him.
Within the 24 hours that followed, his name and #savehakeem had been trending on Twitter in Thailand, with some suggesting vacationers need to take care of a ways off from travelling to the nation till he became as soon as location free.
Politicians and world sports stars such as Didier Drogba and Jamie Vardy added their names to the list calling to #savehakeem.
FIFA, the Asian Soccer Confederation and the Global Olympic Committee demanded he be allowed to discontinuance dwelling.
To add to the stress, al-Araibi’s case has been sullying the jog PR Thailand won from serving to Saudi teen Rahaf Mohammed fetch asylum in Canada in January.
The nation had additionally no longer too long ago promised no refugees might per chance be forced support to their dwelling nations.
The good clarification for al-Araibi’s launch is that Bahrain has withdrawn its extradition request, but those struggling with for his freedom express it is a ways to extinguish extra spoil to Thailand’s reputation.
Sources told me that officers personal been monitoring the impact the case has been having on its reputation internationally and the surprising uptick of condemnation from world broad might need triggered action.
Thailand has a odd election, a coronation and chairing of the Association of Southeast Asian Countries to focal level on – so the fallout from Bahrain’s grudge against a young refugee is frankly a headache it doesn’t need straight away.