9 January 2019 – On the day that Foreign Minister, Marise Payne meets with her counterpart in Thailand, Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai to press for the release of refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi followed by the match between Bahrain and Thailand in the Asian Cup, UAE, Human Rights Groups and the Australian Football Community will be holding a stand-up in solidarity with refugee footballer Hakeem AlAraibi
The GIDHR has welcomed news that Minister Payne is meeting with the Thai Minister and continues to make the following demands on the Thai Government and other stakeholders:
•the intervention and public support of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC);
•withdrawal of the extradition order relating to al-Araibi by the Bahrain Government; and
•the Government of Thailand to take immediate steps to ensure Hakeem’s safe return to Australia.
Hakeem is an Australian recognised refugee and footballer with the PascoeVale Football Club, Victoria. He was arrested on 27 November 2018 upon his arrival to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International airport and has been held for 44 days.
The Asian Football Confederation has made no public comment in support, in spite of their obligations under the FIFA and AFC Human Rights Policy.
The Australian football community has strongly supported Hakeem’s case including Football Federation Victoria (FFV) and Professional Footballers Australia (PFA). A-League and W-League teams have shown solidarity with Hakeem by wearing armbands during recent matches and clubs in Victoria and elsewhere are being called upon to share team photos on social media with the hashtag #SaveHakeem
Said Yahya Alhadid of GIDHR, “We have been overwhelmed by the support of the Australian football community and continue to impress on the Thai Minister the damage to Thailand’s international reputation from the repeated detention and incarceration of Gulf nationals in their ideallic country and, on the other stakeholders, that inaction will continue to result in international condemnation and further tarnish the reputation of the AFC and bring into question the probity of Asian football governance.”
Speaking on behalf of the Football Community will be former Socceroo, Craig Foster.
Representatives from human rights groups will also be in attendance.
When: Tomorrow Thursday 10 January 2019
Where: in front of the Opera House
Time: 12:30 p.m.