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Int’l Union Succeeded in Rescuing Hakeem Al-Araibi, Media Outlets Considered it Victory for Sports and Human Rights (Analysis)

2019-02-13 - 10:30 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): An analysis for Australian news website describe Hakeem Al-Araibi's return to Australia after Thai prison release a victory for sport and human rights.

The Australian ABC news network said that the campaign to free Hakeem Al-Araibi as a grassroots movement and quickly snowballed into an international juggernaut.

The analysis stated that what characterized the "#SaveHakeem" movement was the diversity of the organizations involved, from sporting groups to non-government organizations (NGOs), unions, governments, as well as grassroots pressure from the public in Australia, Thailand and around the world.

"There was a lot happening behind the scenes right from the very beginning," Australia-based Amnesty International spokesman Tim O'Connor said.

"That first month we were in contact with many embassies and an organization in Thailand called the Asia-Pacific Refugee Rights Network. They ensured that he had food, clothing and toiletries.

"It really escalated with us in early January when Hakeem's wife came and met us with the Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights.

O'Connor considered Foster's participation in the campaign as "absolutely crucial", and said he was the face of the campaign.

He revealed that the organization "encouraged Craig to go Thailand and he was very keen to go".

He also said that Foster had financial backing from the Australian football players' union, the Professional Footballers Association (PFA).

O'Connor said that the participation of PFA and FIFPro was able to escalate the campaign to a world movement, pointing out that the Australian PM and Minister of Foreign affairs strongly joined the campaign.

O'Connor said the release of Al-Araibi had been "an incredible thing to witness".

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