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Thai court handed extradition request for footballer from Bahrain

AFP  |  Bangkok 

A is considering a request by to extradite an ex-national team footballer, the kingdom's said Friday, as calls mount for his immediate return to where he has refugee status.

was stopped by Thai immigration on November 27 after arriving in from for a vacation with his wife.

He has since been held in detention.

The 25-year-old, who now plays for semi-professional club Pascoe FC in Melbourne, says he was arrested and beaten at the start of Arab Spring protests in the Gulf state in 2012 and was granted refugee status in five years later.

He was convicted in absentia on charges of vandalising a police station in But Alaraibi says he was out of the country playing in a match at the time of the alleged offence.

Thailand's told reporters the attorney-general's office submitted an extradition case to the criminal court on Bahrain's behalf as the Gulf state has an outstanding arrest warrant for him.

The court "will take time" to consider the case which was sparked when Alaraibi was stopped in on "Bahrain's request".

"We have cordial, good relations with Bahrain," he said, adding authorities were "trying to speed up the case" due to the 12-day deadline of the remand period, which began on December 3.

The said the can appeal a negative verdict.

Alaraibi told AFP he was still in the dark over the legal moves against him. "I feel very nervous now," he said. "You can see the about -- there are no human rights there." A acting for him slammed the "political case" urging his release.

"He didn't do anything wrong in .. so there is no grounds (for detention)," told AFP.

Extraditing Alaraibi to Bahrain will "breach international law and cross a red line", said of the for Rights and Democracy.

Alaraibi's only crime "has been to tell the truth about his government's ruthless torture," he said, adding "the world should not underestimate how far the Gulf States will go to repress dissent".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, December 07 2018. 14:10 IST