What They're Saying: Phil Robertson

“This is a big victory for that global campaign and marks the fact that football will have to play an important role in human rights going forward. They call football the beautiful game, and it is a beautiful day for the beautiful game.”

-- Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch, after Hakeem al-Araibi, a former soccer star in his native Bahrain, was released Monday after Thai prosecutors dropped the extradition case against him and he was allowed to return to Australia, where he lives in exile. Al-Araibi, who was arrested in Bahrain on trumped up charges during a crackdown on Arab Spring protesters in 2011, said he would be imprisoned and tortured if he was extradited. He was the focus of lobbying by diplomats and prominent sports figures -- and even FIFA pressed Thailand to release al-Araibi. (New York Times)
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