Asia Johnson (38 years) was arrested for overstaying her visa on 24th December 2015, she was placed in cuffs and was trundled across to a short term prison
before being incarcerated in Bangkok’s notoriously brutal Immigration Detention Centre along with her two young daughters Reemal Johnson (7 years) and
Eashal Johnson (3 years).
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At the time of her arrest her husband, Johnson Masih (40 years) and daughter Rumaisa Johnson (6 years) were fortunately away from their house during the
raid so escaped the brutal imprisonment. But Rumaisa cried incessantly to be with her mother and her Johnson could no longer carry on his illegal working
that barely paid for his daily essentials as he now found himself solely responsible for one unschooled vulnerable child.
British Pakistani Christian Association appealed several times for the release of Asia Johnson. Our attempts began from January when after a complete ban
on all bails for asylum seekers from extremist countries such as Sri Lanka, and Pakistan was lifted, it became possible to release vulnerable mothers and
children or victims with a serious health condition.
BPCA were thwarted several times by IDC officers who fixed dates for submissions of bail appeals and then postponed these hearings with no specific reason
being provided. During the debilitating incarceration Asia and her children developed rashes, vomited frequently and suffered high temperatures. For us
it was essential that we released the family as soon as possible.
God made a way and on 25th February 2016 after 63 days in captivity Asia and her two daughters were set free.
Asia was overwhelmed by her release said: ” I am extremely thankful to all those that donated to the BPCA, I did not think I would ever see freedom. My children are now so thin they feel like they will break when I pick them up and they Many victims have been incarcerated for over 6 months and my heart goes out to my suffering brothers and sisters still detained. I pray that they may be released soon.”
Thailand is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention or its 1967 Protocol, and hence does not have a formal national asylum framework, Pakistani
Christians are not treated as refugees or asylum seekers but as illegal immigrants. Often, Thailand will not grant asylum status to those declared genuine
refugees by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).Thailand are signatories to several other human rights conventions and this maltreatment
of Pakistani Christians has been condemned by Lord Alton and several other leading humanitarians, yet the abuses continue.
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the BPCA, said:
“There are believed to be close to ten thousand Pakistani Christian asylum seekers in Thailand. Charities and churches are finding it extremely difficult
to support their needs and their illegal status doe not permit them to work, making them vulnerable to exploitation. Time after time we have raised this
issue with the UNHCR but find their approach to the concerns woeful due to exhibited insouciance. We have worked with the BBC to raise awareness of the
plight of the suffering victims in Thailand and pray that the global community together can exert more significant pressure to achieve change.”
The BBC are airing a documentary on Thailand that was filmed in secret with help from the BPCA. Learn more (click here)
Watch the full documentary (click here)
The family require long term support and help with medical treatment, shelter and food. We would like to commit to doing this but need your help. We would also like to help thousands of other Pak-Christian asylum seekers in Thailand, by providing shelter, education, counselling and daily nourishment. If you would like to contribute towards our ongoing work, then our bank details and paypal/visa payment facility can be found here: (click here). Please use Ref: Love for Pak-Christians in Thailand.
Read about the latest family BPCA have freed from the brutal Thai Immigration Centre (click here).
Watch Wilson Chowdhry live on BBC World News (click here)
Learn about the BPCA school in Thailand for Asylum Seekers (click here)
Father becomes lone parent due to medical incompetence (click here)
Many other articles on Pak- Christians in Thailand can be found on our website.