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ICC Note: The United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees, according to many Christian Pakistani asylum-seekers in Thailand, have time and again failed to accept evidence of persecution that could help them obtain asylum status, while refugees of other faiths, such as Ahmadi and Shia Muslims have had their status confirmed. Language barrier, Muslim translators employed by UNHCR, lack of UN oversight are believed to be at fault.

08/15/2017 Bangkok (La Croix) – The assessment by the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees office of claims by Pakistani Christians in Bangkok is routinely failing to accept the evidence for their flight from their homeland as justification for their receiving refugee status, according to refugee support workers in Bangkok.

The ability to safely return refugees to the country of origin is a key consideration in assessing the eligibility of claimants to refugee status.

Compounding the situation further, the UNHCR assessments assert that the asylum seekers can be returned to their homes at no risk when documentary evidence presented by them clearly proves the opposite, the support workers add.

Catholics, Protestant and Muslim Pakistanis have fled to Bangkok in their thousands to escape the consequences of violent persecution, systematic discrimination, and the harsh blasphemy laws in force in Pakistan. The so-called blasphemy laws were introduced in 1987 and licensed the execution of anyone accused of profaning Prophet Mohammed’s name.

Many asylum seekers have had their status confirmed by the UNHCR, including Ahmadi and Shia Muslims who are persecuted by the Sunni majority in Pakistan.

But a growing number of Christians have provided documentary evidence of their persecution and have had their claims rejected by the U.N. agency and told their “case is closed”.

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