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Rallies Held in 2 Major Australian Cities Demanding Hakeem Al-Araibi’s Return to Australia

2019-02-03 - 2:27 am

Bahrain Mirror: A number of rallies were held in Australia's Sydney and Melbourne on Friday (February 1, 2019), in solidarity with Bahraini footballer Hakeem Al-Araibi and all Bahraini prisoners of conscience.

The sit-ins were held outside the Sydney Opera House and Union Square in Melbourne. Participants urged Thai authorities not to extradite Al-Araibi to Bahrain and safely return him to Australia.

Dozens of people took part in the sit-ins along with representatives of human rights organizations, parliamentarians, the football community, international activists and journalists.

In Melbourne, participants held pictures of opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman, Mr. Hassan Mushaima and rights activist Nabeel Rajab.

Former Australian football captain Craig Foster said in a speech at a Sydney rally that Hakeem Al-Araibi had been tortured by a country Thailand works with and is considering returning him to.

He explained that the protests that were held are intended to show the extent of Australia's interest in the case as well as the consequences that Thailand and Bahrain will face if he is not released.

"We want to see both Thailand and Bahrain threatened with suspension from not just football but the IOC," said Foster.

"It's simply not acceptable to incarcerate and torture athletes and then expect to remain a member of Fifa and the IOC. It cannot possibly be acceptable to try to run a case to refoule a refugee on political motivations and expect to remain a member of Fifa and the IOC."

Participants chanted "Save Hakeem" and called on FIFA to consider a decision to suspend Bahrain from future competitions.


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