Peter Khalil Welcomes the Return of Hakeem al-Araibi to Australia



The Federal Labor Member for Wills, Peter Khalil MP, has welcomed the return of Pascoe Vale FC player Hakeem al-Araibi to Melbourne after close to four months detained in a Thai prison. This comes after the extradition charges against him were dropped.

This result was achieved because everyone joined together and called for justice, from the soccer pitch in Pascoe Vale, to the halls of Parliament House in Canberra, to the local community and the football world. Peter Khalil acknowledges in particular the leadership of Craig Foster – Fozz. He worked tirelessly and effectively to raise the profile of Hakeem’s plight to all of Australia and the international football community.

Peter Khalil also acknowledges the bipartisanship of Labor leader, Bill Shorten, Shadow Foreign Minister, Penny Wong, Prime Minister Morrison and Foreign Minister, Marise Payne, as well as his parliamentary colleague Andrew Giles, Member for Scullin, the electorate in which Hakeem resides.

This result didn’t come without hard work. In November 2018, Peter Khalil MP wrote urgently to the Foreign Minister, The Hon. Marise Payne, asking her to engage with Thai Authorities and press for the release of Hakeem and his wife. When that didn’t yield any results, Mr. Khalil joined the public campaign led by Craig Foster to encourage Prime Minister Scott Morrison to make the call to the Thai Prime Minister and secure Hakeem’s release. This campaign brought global attention to Hakeem’s case and Scott Morrison and Marise Payne got involved and advocated for Hakeem.

Peter Khalil also worked closely with the grassroots campaign in his electorate of Wills, where Hakeem plays football for the Pascoe Vale Football Club, meeting with his friends and teammates at training and speaking about the importance of keeping up the fight at their 2019 Season Launch.

Quotes attributable to Peter Khalil MP, Federal Labor Member for Wills:

“This result shows that justice can prevail, and it’s always worth fighting for.”

“I am so proud to have been a part of a campaign that was united in one thing – achieving justice for Hakeem and his wife. I can’t wait to see him on the pitch at Pascoe Vale just in time for the 2019 season”