Refugee Bahraini footballer, freed from Thai jail, says ‘I love Australia’

first_imgRefugee Bahraini footballer, freed from Thai jail, says ‘I love Australia’Hakeem Al Araibi who fled Bahrain in 2014 and received refugee status in Australia, was released from prison in Bangkok on Monday.advertisement Reuters SydneyFebruary 12, 2019UPDATED: February 12, 2019 19:04 IST Hakeem Al Araibi reached Australia on Tuesday after being freed from the Thai jail (Reuters Photo)HIGHLIGHTSHakeem Al Araibi fled Bahrain in 2014 and received refugee status in AustraliaBahrain accused Araibi of crimes committed during the Arab Spring protests of 2011Araibi was released from the Thai prison in Bangkok on Monday amidst cheersA 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 home Australia on Tuesday, television pictures showed, to cheers and the great relief of his wife.Hakeem Al Araibi, 25, 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.”Australia is my country. I don’t have citizenship yet, but my country is Australia … I love Australia, I will die in Australia,” Araibi said after he disembarked in Melbourne airport from a Thai Airways flight.Hundreds of supporters clamoured to embrace him, TV footage showed, and cheered “Welcome home, Hakeem!”. He wore the colours of Pascoe Vale, the semi-professional team he plays for in Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city.”Finally, this nightmare has ended,” Araibi’s wife, who has asked for her name not to be published to protect her safety, said in a statement. “My heart is now full with gratitude. Just so thankful that these tears are falling out of relief and joy.”Newlywed Araibi went to Thailand for his honeymoon but was arrested upon arrival in Bangkok in November, following an Interpol “red notice” issued at Bahrain’s request and brought to Thailand’s attention by Australian police.He had been convicted of vandalising a police station in Bahrain and was sentenced to 10 years in prison in absentia.Araibi has denied any wrongdoing, saying that he was playing in a televised match at the time the offence was committed, and was granted asylum in Australia in 2017. Bahrain, however, sought his extradition from Thailand.advertisementHe was freed after nearly three months of high-drama diplomacy, legal manoeuvring by the governments of Australia, Thailand and Bahrain, and a loud public campaign by footballers and human rights activists.WIDESPREAD SUPPORTAustralian Prime Minister Scott Morrison twice wrote to his Thai counterpart to urge Araibi’s release, while Foreign Minister Marise Payne travelled to Bangkok to press for his freedom.Bahrain halted its extradition bid on Monday, while reserving the right to pursue further action against Araibi.Craig Foster, a former Australian soccer captain, also led efforts and drew support from Australia’s leading goal scorer, Tim Cahill, and former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba.”To fight incredibly hard for not just a young player who virtually no one knew, but a refugee who was under our protection … speaks volumes about the character, the values and the pride that we have as Australians,” Foster told reporters in Melbourne after embracing Araibi.Australia has announced a review of its procedures for handling Interpol red notices. It said Araibi’s case, which it flagged to Thai authorities, should never have been issued because of his refugee status.Interpol notices are requested by member countries and are then issued by Interpol after a compliance check, according to Interpol’s website. It is then up to member countries to determine its weight or legal value.Australian police have not commented on the case or their vetting of the notice, beyond confirming that they informed Thailand of Araibi’s impending arrival.International law academic Lorraine Finlay, a lecturer at Perth’s Murdoch University, said it was not clear what process the Australian Federal Police had followed, other than that it appeared to be highly automated.”Now that Hakeem Al Araibi is back in Australia … we need to make sure that no person we offer protection to is ever put in this situation again,” she said.Also Read | England’s World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks dies aged 81Also Read | Emiliano Sala died of head, torso injuries in crashAlso Read | Fire strikes another Brazilian club days after Flamengo tragedy, 2 players in hospitalFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Tags :Follow BahrainFollow RefugeeFollow Hakeem Al AraibiFollow ThailandFollow JailFollow Australia Nextlast_img read more

Target unveils winter wear as retailer seeks to bolster Canadian fashion profile

Target unveils winter wear as retailer seeks to bolster Canadian fashion profile TORONTO – Target Canada brought a dizzying display of winter weather styles to the runway on Tuesday, part of the retailer’s plans to bolster its presence on the homegrown fashion scene while continuing to make improvements to its business operations.“Style is really kind of key to our DNA,” Livia Zufferli, vice-president of marketing at Target Canada said in an interview prior to the retailer’s show at Toronto’s World MasterCard Fashion Week.“We’ve been in Fashion Weeks in the past — both in Toronto and in Montreal — so it is really key to what we’ve been doing. And we’re going to continue to amp up that focus on style and deliver to our guests what we believe is great design, great style at prices I don’t think they can find elsewhere for the quality and the style that they’re getting here.”The Minneapolis-based discount giant has faced its share of challenges since its March 2013 launch north of the border, initially faced with high expansion costs and disappointing sales as Canadian shoppers complained about near-empty shelves and notably higher prices than at U.S. Target stores.Target Canada recently announced a number of initiatives aimed at helping to boost performance, including a long-term partnership with Canadian interior designer Sarah Richardson and expansion of its Beaver Canoe home decor offerings.Zufferli said the retailer’s number 1 focus is still on operations. She added that they’re continuously making improvements to ensure products are stocked on shelves. “We’re making that progress, and we’re happy about the progress that we’re making.”Under the Fashion Week tents at David Pecaut Square, the focus was on styles for men, women and children for the chilly months. Canadian supermodel Coco Rocha sat front row for the splashy presentation, complete with a red-carpeted runway and illuminated bull’s-eye logos.The presentation showcased what Zufferli described as “cosy Canadiana chic” with items like plaid shirts and tuques interspersed with European-inspired looks.Cheery models showcased a vast array of cold weather wear with pretty, patterned cardigans, faux furs, quilted coats, bomber jackets and blazers. Styles for women encompassed the ultra-feminine — like sheer blouses, slinky lace camisoles and jumpsuits — alongside more edgy, embellished options like leather studded gloves.The retailer also displayed a selection of looks from its upcoming collaboration with Toms: a limited-edition line of home goods, apparel, accessories and shoes which is launching next month. And even Target’s bull terrier mascot, Bullseye, took a turn on the runway for the show’s finale.Target is well-known for its high-profile designer collaborations with top labels like Jason Wu and Missoni, and they’ve also brought Canadian talents into the fold for similar partnerships. Toronto-based Sarah Stevenson designed a line for select Target stores across Canada while Montreal-based designer Melissa Nepton did the same for the retailer’s Quebec-based stores.“We are looking at fostering that Canadian talent as well, in addition (to) supplementing the broader North American partnerships that we’re bringing to the market,” Zufferli said.— Follow @lauren_larose on Twitter. by Lauren La Rose, The Canadian Press Posted Oct 21, 2014 10:23 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more