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BPCA pays court fines for 15 arrested asylum seekers with the help of a Thai actor

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British Pakistani Christian Association paid the visa overstay court fines for the victims of the immigration raids on Pakistani Christian asylum seeking communities at Onut Soi 58, Bangkok yesterday (click here).  We were able to pay the fines thanks to a kindly Thai Actor named Sakda Kaewbuadee who has been helping Pakistani Christians after being moved by the plight of an asylum seeker he met at the brutal Bangkok IDC, you can read a BBC Thai article about this by clicking  (here).    

In the images taken whilst Sakda was paying the fines on behalf of the BPCA he proved outright that the Royal Thai Government is arresting children and detaining them despite the assurances of Prime Minister Prayat Chan-o-cha during the 'Summit of Refugees in New York 20th September 2016, when he declared that child detention would be terminated.  He also confirmed that a robust refugee-screening mechanism would be initiated with hope that it would help distinguish those who truly need protection from those migrating to Thailand for other reasons. The new migrant monitoring mechanism would ensure that protection can be accorded to those in genuine need, and would minimise immigration detention.

On 10th January 2017, the Thai government passed Cabinet Resolution No. 10/01 B.E. 2560 providing for the establishment of a “Committee for the Management of Undocumented Migrants and Refugees” to develop criteria and methods to identify and manage undocumented migrants and refugees. However, the Thai government one year later has still to establish any structures to recognise refugees and asylum seekers and yesterday's arrests proves the Thai government continues to re-persecute asylum seekers who seek protection within their borders.

The Thai Government also submitted a commitment to the UN during the Universal Periodic Review of Thailand, confirming they would allow bail to detainees with serious medical conditions and for women and children. The review forms part of Thailand's commitment under the 'International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights' and was held on the 119th Session of the 'Human Rights Council' in March 2017. Under article 40 of the covenant the Royal Thai Government was required to provide a written report and paragraph 130 of their response states:

130. Thailand allows NGOs to seek bail for those believed to have fled home for fear of persecution, especially women, children, and persons with serious medical conditions, to live outside Immigration Detention Centres (IDCs). Today, the majority have been granted bail with the remaining few being expedited for consideration.

This was among many other assurances given to the UN which can be read under question 23, paragraphs 128 - 132 (click here)

Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said:

"Thailand's continued arrests of Pakistani Christian asylum seekers including many vulnerable children resulting in their detainment in the notorious IDC is symptomatic of the insular perspective held by the nation.

"Tragically this has led to the detainment of all overstayers including those with a valid UNHCR registration and worse still even those who have achieved refugee determination status. "

"The lack of any acceptable refugee-monitoring system one year on from the formation of a body created specifically for this purpose, illustrates the apathy the Royal Thai Government has towards complying with their international obligations.  Their true intent is the brutalization of unwanted asylum seekers in their nation so that these victims feel obligated to leave.

"America has finally joined Canada, Holland and Hungary in admitting that persecution exists in Pakistan, by adding Pakistan to their 'Special Watch List' they have placed the poor human rights record in Pakistan onto the International agenda.  Even then the UNHCR in Thailand and the Thai Nation continue their re-persecution of innocent people.

"People with a conscience should boycott travelling to Thailand a nation that depends on tourism for it's GDP. Only then will the nation realise it cannot treat outsider with such disdain."
 
In 2015, Wilson Chowdhry, guided BBC TV reporter Chris Rogers around Thailand for a ground-breaking documentary on the asylum crackdown of Pak-Christians in Bangkok.  You can watch the video which was aired in 2016 (here)

On his facebook page on 25th January 2018, Sakda Kaewbuadee, wrote (translated by Google):

"Today we went to court to rescue 15 arrested refugees.

British Pakistani Christian Association refugee organization based in England has contacted us yesterday to enter to rescue 15 Pakistani refugees who were arrested as adults 6 AND 9 children.

This organization has given us a certain amount of money to pay for the court, or they will be sent to prison, which will make their situation worse.

We agreed to help with the representation of this organization, pick up all 15 of them out of the detention facility. And There's an officer in custody to wait for the court to consider it individually, and we're going to pay the final fines until 4 p.m.

When you pay the fines, the authorities take all 15 of them to detention. To wait for the push back to the country and face the next religion, most of them choose to be detained, because at least they're still alive.

Today's mission ends on another mission, even if it ends in depression"


Captured women and children cry as they realise their fate is still the IDC despite paying the court fines.


Elderly women, young mothers people will health conditions all were arrested despite valid UNHCR asylum registrations


Many children were captured and transported in Immigration vans


Caged like animals


Inside the court Sakde piad the court fines on behalf of BPCA.


Families huddled together children looked to their parents for support.

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