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Greedy Royal Thai Government imposes overstay fine on successful refugee family about to be resettled in US


Image of crowded unhygenic IDC of Bangkok where people are forced to sleep over one another, in a crouching position or in extreme cases standing up.

An attempt to extort money from a desperate family who have successfully attained resettlement in the US through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Thailand, by the Royal Thai Government is being labelled avaricious.

A rare successful approval of a Pakistan Christian refugee family that has received UNHCR approval for Refugee Status Determination (RSD), all of whom were to be resettled in the US during January/February 2017, brought a moment of exuberant joy to the beleagured Pak-Christian asylum seekers of Bangkok.   This joy however was soon to come to an abrupt end as knowledge of a fine imposed on every member of the family for overstaying their original tourist visa, disseminated through the community. Apparently the Government of Thailand unlike many other nations across the world chooses to retain these fines for refugees who are to be resettled abroad, despite the fact that the removal of such persons reduces the burden on their own nation.

Sri Lanka a newly formed nation after a very bloody civil war that raged on from 1984 - 2007 and an extremely poor developing nation, have chosen to waive such fines, working with the UNHCR based i Colombo, mainly due to the fact that the nation has seen so much war and conflict they now see themselves as peacemakers.  Thailand has a relatively strong economy based on a Foreign Exchange Reserve (foreign assets held or controlled by the country central bank) of 174.7 USD Billion, and per capita income of 13,430 PPP dollars (2013), which dwarfs figures for Sri Lanka, yet they still extort these fines from proven genuine refugees.  This process makes no sense and Wilson Chowdhry Chairman of the BPCA termed it one that is 'avaricious'.

The family of Cyril Kamran (age 43), his wife Samina Cyril (age 43), his teenage daughter Simren Cyril (age 17), and his young son Cyrus Cyril (age 9) have suffered greatly.  Not only did they suffer great persecution in Pakistan but whilst struggling to survive as illegal asylum seekers in Thailand, a nation which shows little mercy to those seeking refuge, his father died in August.  We purchased the family a blood pressure meter in September 2015 after a request from Cyril who had terminal stage Lymphoma cancer and his father Hector Williams (RIP), who was suffering from a chronic renal failure and congestive heart failure and needed dialysis every week (click here).

The family are reaching the point of actually being able to be resettled in the United States. However, one of the final hurdles will be paying the Royal Thai Government a fine for their immigration status. Mr. Kamran has advised us that the Thai Government requires a 20,000 THB fine for those who have overstayed their visa, as illegal immigrants, for those over the age of 14 years. So for the three adults in his family that amounts to 60,000 THB or £1389 ($1672.59 USD,1600 Euros)

If the refugees do not pay this fine of 60,000 THB, then the three adults must spend one week in IDC and pay a fine of 31,500 THB or £703 ($878 USD, 840 Euros). Due to their medical conditions, as Mr. Kamran explaiined to us that he does not believe his family members are capable of this stay in the IDC. He said (sic):

"As I told you that the health condition of me and my wife is not good, my left hip joint is artificial and from last one year I feel severe pain. In my last medical examination at Bangkok Christian Hospital arranged by IOM, they identify that the joint is loose and that I need surgery again but the surgery needs time so that's why they advise me that we will refer your case to US for surgery. Due to that pain I am unable to lay on the even on a comfortable bed so how can I spend one week on the floor of IDC.

"Samina Cyril (my wife) she is suffering with AIHA (Autoimmune hemolytic anemia) since 2002 and she is on Prednisolone (Steroids) and during her last check up at Bangkok Christian Hospital doctor diagnosed her that she is having a heart issues and she is on the risk of heart attack due to long term use of steroids. Her immune system is very week and she is not able to stay at IDC, because the condition of IDC is very unhygienic.

"My daughter is 17 years old and we are unable to take risk to send her to IDC because in past we heard so many sexual harassment cases in IDC."

He added:

"As you are well aware of the conditions of IDC, health conditions are very bad and as I work once a month at Tuz Chi free community clinic as an interpreter and maximum of the patients who came out on bail from IDC even in the last year they all have so many skin problems, scabies is the most common disease. Patients of scabies are still fighting with these issues after bailed out from IDC. A room for 20-30 is filled with 80-90 detainees. They also cut down the water supply for days they treated asylum seekers and refugees like animals."

Collaborating with R.E.A.L. and Pakistan Christian Post we would like to raise the outstanding fines and prevent the family from further turmoil.  If you would like to contribute towards the fines of the family please (click here)


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