An Australian-based refugee soccer player could be held in Thailand immigration detention for up to six months, according to his lawyer.
Hakeem AlAraibi, an Australian permanent resident, was detained at Bangkok airport in November after holidaying in Thailand with his wife.
He was held on a now-expired Interpol warrant issued at the request of Mr AlAraibi’s native Bahrain.
Mr AlAraibi fears he will be tortured if he is deported back to Bahrain.
While Foreign Minister Marise Payne issued a strong statement on Sunday, calling for his immediate release back to Melbourne, Mr AlAraibi’s lawyer Nadthasiri Bergman is concerned he could be stuck in detention until mid-2019.
He is expected to face a Thai court on Tuesday, where Ms Bergman will ask for her client to be bailed.
“(The case) will probably take six months,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“I don’t know if they (Bahrain) can submit the official request within 60 days.”
Mr AlAraibi fled from Bahrain to Australia in 2014 and was granted refugee status in November 2017.
He has been critical of the Bahraini government, speaking about an incident where he was allegedly tortured by Bahraini authorities in 2012.
In 2014, MrAlAraibi was sentenced in absentia to 10 years in prison for allegedly vandalising a police station in Bahrain, which he denies.
He says he was overseas playing a televised match when the vandalism occurred.
A former member of the Bahrain national soccer team, Mr AlAraibi played in the semi-professional National Premier Leagues Victoria for Pascoe Vale this year.