Soccer Player Hakeem al-Araibi Freed From Thai Jail

 

A soccer player and refugee whose detention in Thailand sparked an outcry has been freed from jail after Bahrain withdrew its extradition request.

Hakeem al-Araibi, who is a Bahraini citizen, fled to Australia in 2014 and was granted political asylum,

He was detained in Bangkok in November on an Interpol notice requested by Bahrain. He had travelled to the Thai capital on honeymoon.

He was sentenced in absentia to 10 years for vandalising a police station.

Al-Araibi, 25, denies the charges. Human rights activists say he could face torture if sent back to Bahrain, where he was a vocal critic of the authorities.

His case has been taken up by high-profile footballers, with stars including Didier Drogba and Jamie Vardy calling for his release. The Australian government, football's international governing body Fifa and the International Olympic Committee all lobbied Thailand.

Thailand's Office of the Attorney General (OAG) asked the court to end proceedings against al-Araibi because Bahrain had said it no longer wanted him, officials told BBC Thai on Monday.

"This morning the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed us that Bahrain was no longer interested in this request," OAG foreign office chief Chatchom Akapin said.

Al-Araibi is expected to leave Thailand on Monday evening for Australia.

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France World Cup Celebrations: Joy – And Rowdiness

France's 4-2 win against Croatia in the World Cup finals on Sunday sparked celebrations across the nation, but they were marred by vandalism in a few places.

Some 100,000 gathered at the foot of the Eiffel Tower to take in the action on big screens on Sunday. Once victory had been confirmed a party atmosphere took hold and went on long into the night, according to CNN.

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Trump: NFL Players Must Stand For National Anthem

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27We will proudly be playing the National Anthem and other wonderful music celebrating our Country today at 3 P.M.

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The decision to cancel the Eagles' visit over the protests – which were spurred by black athletes over what they believe is systemic abuse by police against people of color – threatens to reignite a long-simmering, racially-tinged controversy.

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