'He will be killed' - Al-Araibi's wife makes emotional plea for detained husband

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With Bahrain pushing for his extradition from Thailand, a footballer's life now hangs in the balance

The wife of Bahraini refugee Hakeem Al-Araibi has made an emotional plea for her husband to be released from detention in Thailand, saying he will be killed should he be extradited back to his homeland. 

Al-Araibi, who has refugee status in Australia, has been held in South-East Asia for the past two months with Bahrain pushing for his extradition over alleged political crimes.

The former Bahraini international footballer was captured in Thailand while on holiday with his wife, who has now made an emotional plea for help. 

"I'm calling on every country to help Hakeem because I know if he gets taken back he will be tortured, and he will be killed," she told BBC - preferring to remain anonymous.

"His future lies in your hands. Please help my husband come home.

"I was so shocked - we were on a holiday because we were newly wedded. I didn't know what was happening.

"About 15 police officers surrounded us and they were taking pictures and videos and then later took him away.

"We planned together to have a house in the future and make a family. And he has his job and the game and the club. We have a life here."

Former Socceroo Craig Foster has led the charge to save Hakeem and met with FIFA on Monday to urge them to use their powers to help aid a release.

While speaking positively after the meeting, Foster stressed the situation has now become an emergency.

"This matter has become an absolute emergency," Foster said. 

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"We want it to be resolved this week - before Friday.

"It was a good outcome and we have got FIFA to escalate the issue and to acknowledge it is now an emergency.

"FIFA have agreed that the next step is to articulate that all the attention has been on Thailand and Bahrain have been left aside unfairly."

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