She said Araibi's case can not be compared to that of Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, the Saudi teenager who made a desperate plea for asylum from a Bangkok airport last week and was granted refugee status by the United Nations following an global outcry.
BANGKOK (AP) - Australia's foreign minister praised Thailand on Thursday for its handling of a young Saudi woman who fled her family to seek asylum in Australia, but also reminded it of continuing concern about a Bahraini soccer player granted asylum in Australia who remains in Thai detention.
Marise Payne met with senior Thai officials in Bangkok a day after Australia announced it would assess the request for asylum by 18-year-old Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, who was stopped Saturday at a Bangkok airport on her way to Australia and her passport seized.
Her case has drawn attention to Saudi Arabia's strict social rules, including a requirement that women have the permission of a male "guardian" to travel, which rights groups say can trap women and girls as prisoners of abusive families.
She told The Guardian she would "advocate for the safe return to Australia of Mr Hakeem Alaraibi, who is now detained in Thailand".
"I do know that there are legal proceedings underway and Australia will continue to be in very close contact with Thai authorities in relation to this", said Payne, adding that officers from the Australian embassy have visited Araibi a number of times and that they are in contact with his legal team.
The teenager fears her family will kill her if she returns home after she renounced Islam and fled while on holiday in Bahrain. The office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees quickly deemed her a legitimate refugee.More news: Will Meghan Markle return to her famous role on 'Suits'?
"Let's hope that the change of heart that the Thai government has had in Rahaf's case equally applies in Hakeem's case", Pearson said.
The lawyer said that she has been able to pass messages back to his wife in Australia, as he can not use a phone or email in jail.
Meanwhile, four women have held a topless protest in Sydney to support of Ms Alqunun.
He said her father, who has flown to Thailand with her brother to try and lobby for her return, was the equivalent of a municipal mayor in the highly conservative Saudi Arabian province Ha'il.
Her father has denied physically abusing her or trying to force her into an arranged marriage, among the reasons she gave for her flight, Thailand's immigration police chief said after meeting him on Wednesday.
"[The] cause and reasoning [of both cases] are entirely different", she said. Surachate described the father as being a governor in Saudi Arabia.
"He has 10 children".More news: Google takes Chrome's ad blocking global
"Her father is relieved that she is safe", Gen Surachate said, adding that the "UNHCR will find a third country that will accept her in two days".
"FIFA is therefore calling on all the relevant authorities (in Bahrain, Thailand and Australia) to take the necessary steps to ensure that Mr Hakeem Al-Araibi is allowed to return safely to Australia where he can resume his career as a professional footballer".
"This player, a Bahrain national, is now being detained in prison in Thailand awaiting the outcome of extradition proceedings to Bahrain, where he was previously convicted of a criminal offence, the validity of which he strongly contests", continued the statement. Bahrain is seeking his extradition.
"The Thai government is most certainly aware of the importance of this matter to Australia", she said.
But he wondered why the same treatment had not been afforded to al-Araibi. He said he believed he was targeted for arrest because of his Shiite faith and because his brother was politically active.
Federation Internationale de Football Association has repeated an appeal to Thai authorities for the release to Australia of a former Bahrain national footballer held on an extradition request.
FIFA, world football's governing body, who initially appealed for his release last week, said on Wednesday the arrest should never have happened.More news: Canberra to decide Saudi's fate after United Nations refugee ruling
"Sheikh Salman is obligated to support Hakeem". While Payne will be in Thailand, the demonstration also coincides with an AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Asian Cup match between Thailand and Bahrain, which is taking place in the United Arab Emirates.