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Thailand Released the Soccer Player Facing Extradition in Bahrain



But Bahrain and Thailand also showed signs that they could move through international pressure.

Last month, a Saudi woman who allegedly fled abusive from her family set herself to a Bangkok airport hotel room and rallied support for her cause online. The woman, Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, 18, was allowed to leave the airport after two days of cessation and was given asylum in Canada.

Mr. Al-Araibi has received extensive support from the international sports world, including from FIFA leaders, international bodies governing world soccer, and from the heads of the International Olympic Committee and the World Players Association, a group an umbrella representing 85,000 professional athletes around the world. Jamie Vardy, a striker for the English Premier League club of Leicester City, expressed support for Mr al-Araibi on Twitter, and Craig Foster, a spokeswoman and former captain of the Australian national team national, is a prominent advocate of his liberation.

"This is a huge success for that global campaign and marks the fact that football needs to play an important role in human rights forward," said Phil Robertson, Asia's director for Human Rights Watch. "They call football the good game, and it's a great day for a great game."

Mr. Foster, who lobbied FIFA officials and shouted support for Mr. al-Araibi when he came out at a week-long hearings on leg legs, expressed gratitude to the Thai government for the reduction of the case.

"The most important thing today is Hakeem's immediate healing," Mr. Foster on Twitter after the announcement. "The embassy staff will certainly care for him, there will be tears there tonight, as in our house today."

Bahrain Foreign Minister, Don Pramudwinai visited Bahrain and met on Sunday with Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, the crown prince, the state-run Bahrain News Agency reported. No details of their discussion were released.

The decision to drop the case came after the government of Bahrain told Thai diplomats that it did not want to pursue it, said Chatchom Akapin, director general for international affairs for Thai lawyer general office.

"We have obtained information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs this morning that Bahrain is not interested in extraditing Hakeem," he said. "Therefore, the lawyer of the general office has decided that it will not be available to pursue the case."


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