Hakeem Al-Araibi will walk free after Bahrain drops extradition request

Detained Bahraini soccer player Hakeem al Araibi arrives at the criminal court in Bangkok Thailand

A Thai court approved the request to drop extradition proceedings, according to Chatchom Akapin, director general of Foreign Affairs for the Office of the Attorney General.

A football player and refugee whose detention in Thailand sparked an outcry will be freed after Bahrain withdrew its extradition request, officials say.

The surprise decision on Monday ends more than 70 days of detention and global outcry over Bahrain's attempts to return the 25-year-old dissident refugee.

Al-Araibi was jailed and beaten in Bahrain during a crackdown on pro-democracy athletes.

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Al-Araibi, who fled Bahrain in 2014 before being granted permanent residence in Australia, was arrested while on honeymoon in Bangkok in November.

Former Socceroo Craig Foster tweeted, "thanks go to the wonderful people of Thailand for your support and to Thai Government for upholding global law".

A Bahraini court sentenced him in absentia to 10 years in prison over claims by Bahraini authorities that he and a group of protesters attacked a police station with petrol bombs during the Arab Spring uprising.

He could be on his way home as soon as Monday evening.

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