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ICC Note:

Due to intense persecution faced by Christians in Pakistan, thousands of Christians choose to sell their possessions and flee to Thailand as asylum seekers. Unfortunately, Thailand does not recognize these Christians as asylum seekers and instead imprisons them as illegal immigrants. Poor conditions are normal within the prisons where these Christians are held and this has reportedly led to the death of a Pakistani Christian woman who was refused proper medical attention. According to the British Pakistani Christian Association, the Pakistani Christian woman was denied medication she needed for a heart condition while she was detained by the Thai authorities. This denial of medication reportedly led to this woman’s death. 

1/5/2016 Thailand (Christian Post) – A 30-year-old Christian woman who fled from the violence and persecution in Pakistan died in Thailand police custody on Christmas Eve after she was arrested and prevented from taking much needed medications, a watchdog group has announced.

The British Pakistani Christian Association reports that Samina Faisal and many other Pakistani Christian asylum seekers were arrested on Dec. 20, 2015, as part of a crackdown against Pakistani Christians who’ve overstayed their visas in Thailand after fleeing from the persecution in their homelands to seek refuge.

Faisal, who in March 2015 faced severe medical complications that caused her to miscarry her baby which was stillborn at six months gestation, was prescribed medication for high blood pressure, hypertension and a shrinking Kidney. The mother also suffered from long-term health conditions that required regular treatment.

After Faisal was arrested in late December for staying past her visa as she continued seeking refuge from the sectarian tension in her hometown of Karachi, she told those in charge at the jail that she needed her medicine for her health problems. Faisal’s pleas, however, went unanswered and her complications went untreated, causing her to lose her life in just four days.

Along with her health issues going untreated, BPCA Chairman Wilson Chowdhry suggests that Faisal was jailed in deplorable conditions.

“Pakistani Christian asylum seekers seized in such raids are taken either to the Immigrant Detention Centre or the Central Criminal Jail, and conditions in both are horrific with massive overcrowding, pitifully poor nutrition and the resultant disease epidemics,” Chowdhry said in a statement shared with The Christian Post. “In these latest raids at least 80 percent of the detainees were women and girls, along with babies and other children.”

Although Faisal was registered by the U.N. as an asylum seeker, Thailand refuses to recognize most Pakistani Christian asylum seekers and treats them as illegal immigrants.

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