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Refugee Footballer Released From Thai Jail: 'I love Australia'
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12 Feb 2019 11:24 AM EST

Reuters reports A refugee Bahraini footballer who was held in a Thai prison for more than two months at the Gulf state’s request arrived in his adoptive hometown of Melbourne on Tuesday. He arrived to cheers and the great relief of his wife. Twenty five year old Hakeem Al Araibi, who fled Bahrain in 2014 and received refugee status in Australia, was released from prison in Bangkok on Monday. Authorities in Bahrain accused Araibi of crimes committed during the Arab Spring protests of 2011, charges which he denied. Araibi said after he disembarked in Melbourne airport from a Thai Airways flight “Australia is my country. I don’t have citizenship yet, but my country is Australia ... I love Australia, I will die in Australia."

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