Our vision is to create a network of Pakistanis united in Christ, focused on better quality of life, fellowship and religious freedom for Christians in Pakistan and the UK.
Jackson Jacob in shackles at Samut Prakarn court. The person sitting next to Jakcson Jacob is Ilyas Masih. He is still inside IDC and is unaware of the death of his father in Pakistan.
23 year old Jackson Jacob, a qualified and experience civil engineer at the age of 23, escaped persecution to Bangkok, Thailand, in December 2014 with his fiance Ayesha Shumaila who he later got married to. Sadly married life was abruptly cut short after he was arrested by immigration officers and the Thai army during a raid at his condominium located in Watdam Samrong, during March 2015. During the raid he was hiding in a cupboard and his door was forcibly kicked open despite a padlock being fixed on the outside of the door by friends to make it look like the room was vacant. Arresting officers forced Jackson to the floor while they shackled him.
Jackson's wife, Ayesha Shumaila was at her workplace within an Indian household where she worked as a domestic servant, when the raid took place. When she discovered the arrest of her husband her heart was broken and she found herself feeling both distraught and depressed.
AfterJackson was arrested he was initially detained at Samut Prakarn prison and presented to Samut Prakarn court. However no charity helped with his fine for overstaying his tourist visa, a crime despite his existing UNHCR asylum papers, due to the fact that Thailand has not ratified UN conventions for asylum. Failure to pay for his fine led to Jackson being sentenced to 14 days in Central Jail prison which could have been avoided by paying 200 baht (£4) for every day that he had overstayed his visa. Jackson and other Pak Christian asylum seekers were imprisoned with murders and rapists and often suffered taunting and bullying. Moreover prison staff were quite brutal and would beat men with sticks to get their way without provocation. A welt from such a beating has scarred Jacksons right leg.
During his stay in Central Jail, Jackson was presented twice in front of the judge and had to sign papers which were unreadable to him as they were written in the Thai language. To this date he has no idea what he was signing for.
When taken to Central Jail, Jackson along with other male Pak-Christian detainees were shackled with large iron chains. The pins for the shackles were hammered into place while the shackles were on the ankles of the men. As a result of this Jackson and other men had severely swollen and painful ankles. The shackles weigh 5kg and had to be lifted while they walked to court on many occasions a distance of 4km along hard terrain. The effort left them with severe back pain and great discomfort. Whenever they returned from court they were strip searched and later sent to grimy unclean prison cells a process that has left Jackson traumatized and he can be seen sobbing when explaining these events in an interview despite 7 months since his release on bail from his awful dilemma.
Jackson also now suffers from a severe fungal infection and has to take medicines regularly to treat it. An infection that spread through many of the inmates and has also been contracted by his wife.
Jackson's wife was pregnant while he was incarcerated and had no means of earning a living. Later her and her husband spent some time in the equally brutal and spartan Immigration Detention Centre in Bangkok, during which their bail was paid and they now have a two year protection from re-arrest.
We asked Jackson if he felt the UNHCR had done enough for him. He answered that:
"They might have done enough on their behalf but when I was suffering in Central jail and IDC, no one came to counsel me or support me but still I forgive all including Immigration officials who have persecuted me because the Bible teaches us to forgive all who harm us."
Strong in faith but traumatised by events. BPCA has arranged Christian emotional and spiritual counselling for Jackson and his wife via Ruth and Nima Eftikhari of TrotB Ministries. They will use biblical scripture and their life experiences to help the couple out of their deep depression.
We would like to arrange some funds for the couple and the counselling team for a place to meet and travel costs. We would also like to provide this family with the gift of two months food and rent amounting to £200.
If you would like to contribute towards our appeal our bank details, paypal/visa payment facility can be found (here)
Please use reference: Love for Charsadda
Immigration Detention Centre.