A fresh wave of arrests hits already vexed Pakistani Christians seeking asylum in Thailand. In a few weeks, dozens of Pakistani Christian asylum seekers have been hooked by the Thai authorities. British Pakistani Christians Association states that among those Pakistani Christians who have been arrested are a paralyzed man and an expecting woman.
BPCA fears the paralyzed Pakistani Christian and the expecting woman will not find medical facilities in the Immigration Detention Center IDC, which is notoriously infamous for its pathetic conditions. Another Pakistani Christian couple which got hooked by the Thai authorities in this recent wave of arrests, opted to leave their two children to the community care instead of them facing horrendous conditions in the IDC.
Previously the announcement of UNHCR registration/ Identity cards issuance generated some hope among the asylum seeking Pakistani Christians. It was being claimed that once these cards are issued to the asylum seekers the Thai authorities would not be authorized to arrest them. However, the situation did not change much, as the Thai regime seems to have reverted to their anti-refugee drive as before the BBC documentary which caused a nuisance for them.
The British Pakistani Christians Association head, Wilson Chowdhry, says, “These arrests are a regression by the Royal Thai Authorities. After the BBC Documentary filmed by Chris Rogers for which the BPCA was involved in the planning and fixing of the investigative reporter with victims, they initially seemed to have calmed their approach to these innocent asylum seekers and victims.
Arrests had temporarily stopped and many women and children were emancipated by charities such as the BPCA who paid for the necessary bail – set at £1000 a process itself said to be avaricious. Delays over applications for victims involved in the BBC documentary were a sad indication of their petty protectionism.”
He further went on to say, “Banning charity representatives and foreign family members access to victims underlined their attempts to simply preserve their reputation, during a time when much media attention was being drawn towards them.”