On September 10, hundreds of Pakistani Christian asylum seekers in Bangkok were arrested in a raid conducted by Thai police, immigration authorities, and the Army. The asylum seekers, which included children, nursing women, sick and elderly, were transported directly to the Immigration Detention Center.
The arrests follow the visit of Lord David Alton last week, who met with authorities to address issues of overcrowding in the detention centers and inhumane treatment. Lord Alton also held meetings with asylum seekers to gather witness testimony to the issues facing the Pakistani Christian community in Bangkok. Pakistani asylum seekers in Bangkok, most of which are fleeing religious persecution, are often targeted in Bangkok due to their noticeably dark skin. The UNHCR in Bangkok has experienced a back-log in their system, which as enabled the asylum seekers’ visas to expire before getting a chance to have an interview with the UNHCR, therefore making the asylum seekers prone to arrest.
Urgent prayer is needed for the release of those arrested. Please also call or send a letter to the Thai embassy in your home country and request the Thai authorities to release the Pakistani Christian asylum seekers.
For those in the United States:
Ambassador Pisan Manawapat
1024 Wisconsin Ave. N.W.,
To learn more about the situation of Pakistani Christians in Thailand: