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UNHCR shuts eye to the plight of Pakistani Christian asylum seekers in Thailand


Pakistani Christians in Thailand

BANGKOK: Christians fleeing persecution in Pakistan receive no real help from UNHCR in Thailand.

According to details, Pakistani Christians who have fled from Pakistan because of augmenting religious persecution are rendered helpless in Thailand. Recently, Christian Freedom International lent a helping hand to these troubled Pakistani Christians seeking asylum in Thailand.

The organisation succeeded in securing release of detained Pakistani Christian asylum seekers from a Bangkok detention centre. The organisation Christian Freedom International withheld the names of these Pakistani Christians for the sake of their security.

It was on August 26, that the Thai police conducted a raid at the house where two Pakistani Christian families were lodging. Both the families had filed cases before the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for an asylum status in Bangkok, Thailand.

Also read: An American doctor raising funds for Pakistani Christian asylum seekers in Thailand

Thai police seized both the Pakistani Christian families and arrested and imprisoned them all over charges of living in the country with expired visas. Christian Freedom International paid the fines and thus mange dot get them released after two days on August 28.

Both the Christian families had fled from Pakistan amidst persecution, and after arriving in Thailand immediately filed appeals before the UNHCR for asylum status.
Seeing that, due to persecution reaching alarming levels in Pakistan, these Christians could not return to their homeland decided to resettle in Thailand.

As per regulation, when a refugee files an appeal for asylum before the UNHCR, he gets registered with the UNHCR, as a result of this the asylum seeker is granted safety and protection status under International Law. They cannot go back to Pakistan because they will be killed.

Once granted a protective status, the asylum seeker can not be arrested or deported until the UNHCR decides whether to grant asylum or otherwise. During the protracted period until UNHCR decides upon the asylum request, the asylum seeker is granted necessary aid for daily survival by the UNHCR.

Conversely, the UNHCR is providing little or no help to Pakistani Christian asylum seekers in Thailand. Majority of the Pakistani Christians are living in fear of deportation and arrest as their visas have expired and asylum requests are being pending with the UNHCR for a verdict. What is more, thousands of Pakistani Christians have flooded Bangkok seeking asylum from UNHCR. They are waiting for hearing dates from the UN agency so that their fate gets decided over the asylum status.