Morrison: Australia is “pushing on every door” to get Hakeem al-Araibi released

Morrison: Australia is “pushing on every door” to get Hakeem al-Araibi released

Prime Minister Scott Morrison told 2GB on Thursday that the Government is “pushing on every door” to secure the release of Melbourne-based refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi.

The Prime Minister said he had not received a reply to his letter to Thai counterpart Prayuth Chan-ocha, in which he urged Bangkok to return Mr al-Araibi to Australia.

In the letter Mr Morrison reportedly pointed out that Mr al-Araibi has a permanent protection visa, stressing the thorough process Australian authorities undertake before issuing such a visa.

“We are pushing on every door here, and we will continue to do that respectfully but very determinedly,” Mr Morrison told 2GB.

The footballer has been detained by Thai authorities since arriving in Bangkok on his honeymoon on 27 November, over an Interpol red notice that has since been lifted.

Mr al-Araibi’s native country Bahrain issued the red notice and is seeking his extradition after he was sentenced in absentia to 10 years in prison, despite submitting evidence that he was playing football at the time of the alleged crime.

Mr al-Araibi’s wife has written to the prime ministers of Canada and New Zealand, pleading with them to assist in her husband’s release.

In a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, she wrote: “Time is running out, and I am pleading desperately to you as a humanitarian, and someone who would not hesitate to stand with justice, please please help my husband.”

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