Asylum quandary: Pakistani Christians in Bangkok find themselves in deep waters

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Pakistani Christians seeking asylum found themselves in deep trouble after the recent arrest of 45 of their fellows. The arrests were followed by threats from the UNHCR Bangkok; claiming more arrests will be made. The situation became even worse when the authorities threatened them of deporting them to Pakistan. The illegal arrests and threats from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees has provoked widespread indignation among the Pakistani Christian community.

Pakistani Christians arrested in Bangkok

On December 10, when the world was observing International Human Rights Day, 2016 the UNHCR carried out illegal raids and arrested Pakistani Christians, this entire episode of arrests was televised by the Bangkok Immigration Authorities and Police. Horrific images of children’s crying and women begging for mercy before being sent to the notorious Immigration Detention Center IDC.

Also Read: Christian children of Azad Kashmir honor the APS martyrs

On December 10, when the world was observing International Human Rights Day, 2016 the UNHCR carried out illegal raids and arrested Pakistani Christians, this entire episode of arrests was televised by the Bangkok Immigration Authorities and Police. Horrific images of children’s crying and women begging for mercy before being sent to the notorious Immigration Detention Center IDC.

Following this act, the Pakistani Christian Diaspora in Canada condemned the opposition offered by the Ahmadiyya community. Pakistani Christians staged a protest and rallied against the scheme intended to damage belief of Christians.

In this regard, Pakistan Christian Congress President, Dr. Nazir S. Bhatti heaped condemnation over illegal arrests of Pakistani Christian asylum seekers. He raised serious concerns regarding the incident of two Pakistani Christian threatened for recording a video related to Christian faith. These Christians had merely recorded their replies to the false propaganda by the Ahmadiyya community, he explained.

Dr. Nazir added “UNHCR Bangkok office behavior towards Pakistani Christian Asylum seekers is contrary to Human Right Charter of UN and Refugee Convention which is serious issue and needs attention of UNHCR Commissioner in Geneva.”

Quoting one of the Pakistani Christian asylum seekers Maqsood Iqbal who managed to escape the crackdown stated: “This morning 45 people were captured and were taken as detainees. I have been there with them from the start till the end. I have seen everything with my sinful eyes. Within those 45 people are 23 Children, 13 Women and 9 men some of them are of old age. It was unbearable for me to see the people crying out for help.

As you already know Christmas month has just begun and we are targeted like this after coming here, trying to escape persecution in Pakistan. Now if the fine (court fees) is not paid the entire group of asylum seekers will be thrown into criminal jails. So as a brother I ask you to help them in this time of need. May God bless you.”

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