Request Made in Thai Court to Send Football Player to Bahrain

Hakeem Ali Mohamed Ali AlAraibi led in handcuffs at the Thai Criminal Court.
Hakeem Ali Mohamed Ali AlAraibi in December led in handcuffs at the Thai Criminal Court.

BANGKOK — Prosecutors have submitted a request in court for Thailand to extradite to Bahrain a detained football player who has refugee status in Australia.

The lawyer for Hakeem al-Araibi said she will file an appeal to the prosecutors’ request made in court in Bangkok on Friday.

Lawyer Nadthasiri Bergman said another court date is set for Monday when al-Araibi will be asked if he is willing to be extradited. Al-Araibi says he fled political repression there.

He had been living in Melbourne, Australia, and played for a semi-professional team. He was detained in Bangkok in November and a court ruled in December he could be held for 60 days.

Rights groups, soccer governing bodies and activists have pushed for Thailand to release al-Araibi so he can return to Australia.