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Three deaths later Thailand finally opens bail for registered asylum seekers and refugees!

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For almost two years persecuted Pakistani Christians and Ahmadis who make up over 50% of Thailand's asylum seeker community have been refused bail for overstaying their visa's.  For the re-persecuted victims this has meant an extremely difficult and stressful stay in Bangkok's brutal Immigration Detention Centre (IDC). However, Yesterday Thai authorities declared that bail would be granted to UNHCR registered asylum seekers and refugees similar in process to the bail system operated some years ago.  The bail system reopens soon and when it is officially restarted BPCA hopes to be able to initiate some applications immediately. 

Please sign our petition (click here)

After an initial very strong lobby in 2013 by numerous charities and NGO's the Royal Thai Government (RTG) initiated a bail system for asylum seekers and refugees in 2014.  This involved payment of a substantial bail fee of 50,000 baht (£1136 or $1467) for a two year bail, which could be renewed for free after the initial period was up. However after a huge raft of detained by charities such as our own BPCA the Thai Government decided to close the bail system around two years ago, barring individuals with a serious provable medical condition. Worse still in June last year the RTG then decided to terminate bail for these individuals in its entirety - resulting in three preventable deaths.


Ijaz Patras Masih (RIP)

The most recent of these caused the total demoralisation of detainees and charities alike, after 36 year old Ijaz Masih predicted his own death after being denied medication and medical assistance for some months, and feeling the rapid decline of his health in his dying hours (click here).  There have been more deaths of Pakistani Christians in the IDC but only three linked to their brutal tactics of removal of humans they see as vermin.  It should be noted that asylum seekers form western nations were still able to obtain bail and this was specifically a targeting of Pakistani's and Afro-Caribbean people from their homelands. The targeting is believed to be based on the size of the victims wallets and not the colour of their skin we clarify. 

British Pakistani Christian Association has already released several individuals from the IDC and has initiated an immediate appeal. Of the 97 Pakistani Christians in the IDC it is estimated that only 25 -30 will be able to obtain bail (but the number will rise to 45 individuals released as children do not have to pay bail). A further 20 have already been granted refugee status and we will only free them if we have a surplus of funds but our obvious priority is for those who will obviously benefit for the longest from bail.  There are mothers with children and some very seriously ill individuals who need to be removed immediately and the application process can take up to two months. So please help us to free as many detainees as possible as soon as we can by donating today (click here). We will ensure that trauma counselling is available to them as many have suffered in excess of 2 years detainment.  Each release fee will be £1136 

View video of a mother who was returned to her family after 9 months when BPCA paid her release fee in 2016 (click here)


Please help us release more victims like Mewhish

The RTG took their very hardline approach to asylum seekers from Pakistan and other deprived nations, in an attempt to force them to return home.  Sadly their brutality caused huge stress to many families who had loved ones caught up in the IDC after a massive increase in raids.  Facing long term incarceration in either the IDC or a Pakistani prison many decided to take their chances by returning home and going into hiding.  Many with seriously ill relatives left for home in waves after the three deaths in the IDC, returning with nothing in their hands for their survival as they had sold all they had originally owned to escape persecution. The deep depression that has consumed all these families tempered with fear and anxiety is impossible to explain.  Our officers have provided spiritual counselling and prayers and have shed tears with many of the returnees, who simply had no choice open to them.  For many ot was choice of death on a foreign soil or in the land of their ancestors.  

Lord Alton obtained new figures for the numbers of Pakistani Christians residing in Thailand and shared them with the BPCA, he wrote:

"As of end May, 4132 refugees 3316 asylum seekers [are in Bangkok], approx 52% of whom are from Pakistan. Note that asylum seekers include persons in the appeal process."

One particular victim accused of a blasphemy, namely Ayub Masih returned back to Pakistan after being arrested and detained for overstaying his tourism visa in 2014 (just before the initial process for IDC bails began), on his return he was arrested and has been serving a blasphemy sentence for alleged on-line blasphemy since. Mr Ayub Masih still professes his innocence and the evidence against him is simply made up witness statements by his persecutors, no hard evidence was submitted to the court or obtained via the police. Yet even now most western nations and the UNHCR still refuse to believe that Christians are persecuted in Pakistan.  This despite the 'Open Doors World watch list' now labelling Pakistan as the fourth worst country in the world to live in as a Christian. This places Pakistan above Iraq and Syria for persecution of Christians.  


BPCA's Wilson Chowdhry and BBC's Chris Rogers share a meal with asylum seekers.

Our Chairman Wilson Chowdhry encouraged Chris Rogers of the BBC to travel to Thailand to document the maltreatment of Pakistani Christian asylum seekers in Thailand.  In 2015 after a lot of planning and research the two travelled to the country putting their own freedom at risk to highlight the brutal treatment of thousands of escapees from Pakistan.  During the filming of the documentary Chris Rogers was taken to the crammed homes of many UNHCR registered asylum seekers and refugees and heard harrowing accounts of rape, blasphemy allegations, extrajudicial killings, severe bullying and harassment, land mafia murders that led to usurpation of homes and much more.  All of these were significant incidents that led to a mass migration of an estimated 7500 Pakistani Christians to Thailand where they hoped to find some peace, equality and a chance for a new life.  However quite rapidly the asylum seekers found they were unwanted and became the targets of an unwarranted clampdown of undesirables.  You can watch the video by (clicking here)

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