Members of a Christian political party and representatives from different NGOs met with Ms. Thanida Menasavet, Counselor for Human Rights and Social Issues for the Kingdom of Thailand Embassy to discuss the cruel treatment of Pakistani Christian asylum seekers in Thailand.
Dr. Nazir Bhatti of Pakistan Christian Congress, and Jeffery Imm of Responsible for Equality And Liberty (REAL) held a meeting at the Embassy of the Kingdom of Thailand in Washington D.C., in order to discuss the horrifying situation of Pakistani Christian asylum seekers in Thailand. Dr. Bhatti and Mr. Imm also represent Center for Pakistan Christian Human Rights, Inc. (CPHRI).
The attendees of the meeting elaborated the reasons for the migration of Pakistani Christians to other Christians with the blasphemy law and its accusations being the first and foremost. The participants also condemned the unnecessary delays by UNHCR in helping these Christians.
The human rights violations taking place in Thailand Detention cells were highlighted.
Regarding the issue of granting bails to those detained in the Detention Cells, the Counselor ensured that she would talk to her government and make sure that the arrested are granted bails on humanitarian basis.
Thai Counselor Thanida Menasavet also agreed to follow up with the UNHCR on the delays in getting refugee applications processed, and indicated the Thai government was also frustrated with these delays and had previously talked to the UNHCR on this. Jeffrey Imm of REAL indicated that he would provide additional information to the counselor regarding the UNHCR Resettlement Handbook requirements, which require that the UNHCR provide a reasonable “benefit of the doubt” to refugee seekers in their applications and details of the reasons for the seeking refugee status. Jeffrey Imm told the counselor that he had clearly seen that this policy was not being consistently followed, and that this was likely a large factor in the delay of Pakistan Christian refugee application processing.
The counselor also agreed to see if the visas of Christian asylum seekers could be extended to meet with the demands of UNHCR or demand the authorities not arrest those refugees who could demonstrate their UNHCR refugee registration.
After 2009 when Muslim mob attacked Christian Town Gojra in Punjab province of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, setting on fire more than 70 homes and burning alive 8 Christian children, women and elder man but none of culprit was brought before court of law and punished, the Pakistani Christian exodus began. They headed towards Sri Lanka which had entry on arrival on Pakistani Passport at that time and airfare was cheap when EU, North America and Australia were reluctant to issue them visas.
There were attacks on Korian village and at Joseph Colony in city of Lahore by Muslim mobs and murders of Pastors in broad day light in Court Compounds on allegations of blasphemy laws while fundamentalists bombed Churches in Peshawar and Lahore killing Christian worshipers.
When life and property was threatened by Muslim fundamentalist then Thousands of Pakistani Christians reached Royal Kingdom of Thailand also and applied for asylum with offices of UNHCR in Bangkok and they are waiting for their settlement in countries where they live under safety and security from years.