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ICC Note:

The military takeover that occurred in Thailand has had a particular impact on asylum seekers in the country. At that point, anyone who had overstayed their visa was considered illegal and could be imprisoned. Thailand is not party to the UN Refugee Convention. This means that Pakistanis Christians who flee persecution in Pakistan are greeted with a fugitive like lifestyle, running from Thai authorities while they try to convince the UNHCR of the veracity of their faith in Christ and the persecution they faced at home. UCA News reported on the difficulties that some of these families face in Thailand as they wait to hear the results of their application for asylum.

5/4/2017 Thailand (UCA News) – The military takeover that shook Thailand’s political life to its core almost three years ago also left its mark on the wider community, and that includes asylum seekers whose belief in Bangkok as a safe haven along a hazardous route to safer pastures, has been seriously challenged.

Among them is Charles Emmanuel whose son Shirjeel was jailed and along with his wife Hina and two children were later deported, despite being granted asylum seeker status by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Bangkok.

“The prison conditions are horrendous — overcrowded, hot and humid, poor food, no medication and horrible toilets,” Emmanuel said. “Despite paying for him to be released on bail, he continued to be detained. My son’s health deteriorated rapidly during his 18 months in detention.”

“He was unable to stand without assistance.”

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