Appeals for clemency continue for Pak-Christian asylum-seekers detained in Bangkok’s Immigration Detention Centre.
Great fear of deportation still looms as there have been no public reports that have indicated the Thai governments plans to change their plans to
deport asylum-seekers within the month. It is now unclear if Pakistani has properly inked the understood deportation deal with Thailand, who with great
diligence set forth to arrest a large number of Pak-Christians in their anti-immigration thrust against overstayers.
Those asylum seekers who are yet to be determined, are under appeal, or whose cases have been closed are set to either be deported or remain in IDC
for an undetermined length of time. Some, having lost hope, have already paid their own ways to leave or have appealed for help with departure
fines and associated fees.
BPCA received confirmation from a Thai lawyer that people identified as refugees by foreign sponsors can also be bailed out along with UNHCR refugees.
This feels more hopeful, though there is also a sense of these actions are tentative and only give temporary relief.
The attitude is very much wait and see from Pak-Christian asylum-seekers in Bangkok. Some have lost hope and are returning to unknown conditions in Pakistan,
while others are determined wait in the cramped quarters of IDC as long as is necessary.
Initially there were thought to be funds to send everyone back. In fact the one month deadline has not passed and this could still happen. However perhaps
not to raise the ire of the international community any more than necessary, the Thai government seems to be focusing on those whose asylum cases are
either closed or not yet determined by the UNHCR.
Even if the UNHCR has not given an asylum-seeker refugee status does not mean they do not have a legitimate case. There are known problems with the process,
which include the use of clearly biased translators. A small matter of visual perspective, whether you are describing what you saw or what was done
to you, during a traumatic incident can be exploited as a problem with credibility.
Wilson Chowdhry said:
"We are allowed to bail out as many as are both eligible and that we can pay for at a cost of 50,000 Baht per adult. Women with children are currently eligible for bail, but we hope to here positive news soon about improved conditions for men. Our BPCA Thailand officer is waiting for the funds and ready to post bail as they come in. Bail was initially only available to those identified as refugees by the UNHCR but Thai lawyers are now also actively seeking bail for those identified as refugees by a foreign sponsorship group."
URGENT APPEAL: We are appealing for the necessary bail fines to release Christians from inside the IDC, the current bail programme will only free women and children. We envisage a number of around 20 individuals have to be set free in the first instance as the children do not need to pay fines and will automatically be set free with mothers. Each bail fine has been set at 50,010 baht equivalent to £1270 and we will need to raise £25,400 to help them. If you would like to give to this need please (click here) and to designate to bailing out a UNHCR determined refugee please earmark your donation IDC BAIL.
If you would like to donate to our previous campaign to help 10 families who are still in hiding please designate your donation by marking it: BANGKOK FAMILIES
Please (click here) to sign our petition to allow Pakistani-Christian Asylum-seekers to remain in Thailand.