‘He is free’: refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi heads home to Australia after Bahrain drops extradition bid and Thailand releases him

A refugee Bahraini footballer with residency status in Australia boarded a flight for Melbourne early on Tuesday after Bahrain dropped its bid to have him extradited from Thailand, bringing to an end a case that had drawn international criticism.
Hakeem al-Araibi, 25, who fled Bahrain in 2014 and received refugee status in Australia, was arrested in November last year at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport while on his honeymoon, following an Interpol notice issued at the Gulf state’s…