At this Friday’s (1 February) WSW vs Jets A League game, WSW fans are organising a display of solidarity with Hakeem Al Araibi.

“Hakeem has now been wrongly imprisoned in Bangkok for 65 days”, said organiser Guy Gillor, a local Western Sydney Wanderers fan.

“He plays semi-professionally for a local Melbourne club, both he and his wife are permanent residents of Australia, and it is completely wrong that he has not been allowed to come home.”

Hakeem was a professional footballer who previously played internationally for Bahrain, but was tortured by the regime. After he fled, Hakeem was convicted in absentia to ten years imprisonment in Bahrain due to ‘vandalism’ – despite playing a football match at that time, which was broadcast on live TV. Hakeem was found to be a refugee after he sought protection from Australia.

Sheikh Salman al-Khalifa, an influential member of the Bahraini royal family, is vice-president of FIFA as well as president of the Asian Football Confederation.

“The case is now urgent, as Bahrain has filed an extradition request to Thailand. Our football family in Australia and around the world are making our voices heard on this matter.”

On the 5th minute of Friday night’s game, WSW fans will hold paper signs that read #SaveHakeem. These can be picked up from 7pm outside the stadium. The 5-minute mark is for his #5 jersey.

“Jets fans are encouraged to participate as well, the more voices we have for Hakeem the better.”

“Please join us to help raise the public profile of this case, and support saving a life of a footballer in imminent danger.”

This action also coincides with the Global Day of Action for Hakeem.

See the Facebook event