Sport and Politics Combine as Hakeem Al Araibi Detention in Thailand Angers Australia

Published February 3rd, 2019 - 02:34 GMT

The situation of detained footballer Hakeem Al-Araibi is still grabbing news headlines for the third month in a row in a story that has mixed football with politics in Bahrain.

Al-Araibi, a Bahraini footballer and Australian resident who has been detained in Thailand for two months and now faces danger of being deported back to Bahrain, continues to raise concerns with human rights activists inside and outside Bahrain.

His story started when he travelled to Qatar for a match and then fled to Iran. Hakeem made it to Australia in May 2014 and was granted asylum where his protection and safety were assured. This was at issue, because in the past he was detained in Bahrain and tortured for criticizing the government. He was later detained by Thai immigration officers at Bangkok airport in accordance to an Interpol Red Notice for his arrest.

Not only this, support for the footballer is still growing on the international level. The latest was the former Chelsea star Didier Drogba who voiced support and joined his other colleagues.

Several rallies were held in Australia cities where human rights activists demanded the Australian government to do more to help their Bahraini refugee and Australian resident to save his life.

Also on Friday, rallies were held in Melbourne and Sydney, and several others are planned in different places around the world.

On social media, the story is now gaining more support as users are launching campaigns like #SaveHakeem” on hashtag #HakeemAlAraibi where they voice support and pressure governments to intervene and help Al Araibi.

Some users called to boycott tourism to Thailand as long as Al Araibi is being detained by the Thai authorities.


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