Widow of Pakistani asylum seeker killed in Bangkok IDC wants justice
20 Oct 2017
London: October 20, 2017. (PCP) A mother stranded in Thailand with three children is calling for immediate assistance from the UNHCR and Thai Government who she believes is responsible for her husband’s death.
Ijaz Patras Masih a detainee with a known heart condition died on 27th May 2017 after he was put through a strenuous exercise routine with other inmate at the brutal Immigration Detention Centre (IDC), in Bangkok. His physical capacity to cope with any form of exertion was massively diminished as IDC staff refused to allow him access to medicine and failed to ensure he received the regular medical assessments, that his condition required him to undergo for his safety.
Almost five months later no IDC member of staff has been investigated for manslaughter and the continued lack of medical investigation and medicines has meant that hundreds of detainees are at severe risk of a similar preventable fatality.
Shahida aged of 33 years, widow of Ijaz Masih and now a single mother of three children, said "There has been no attempt to bring any justice for the death of Ijaz, no-one has been suspended, no court hearing has taken place, yet it is obvious that Ijaz could have been saved with some simple treatment”
"For the last year of his life Ijaz cried himself to sleep, he thanked God for his illness as it brought him the opportunity to see his children when in hospital, but ultimately he died a lonely and painful death.
"My children are now without the input of their father, they're displaying signs of trauma, but despite their culpability the Thai Government have done nothing to help. Moreover. the UNHCR now how dire my situation is but all they have given us is 10,000 baht that was used for Ijaz's funeral.
"Without a father figure my young daughters have no chance of survival, they will surely be kidnapped by Muslim traffickers and mistreated. I am a woman and I cannot work and care for my children - I don't know what we will do if we are forced to return to Pakistan.
"Despite our remonstration UNHCR is offering us no assistance. Our already bad situation has become one that is so pathetic I have to hide from my children as I cry myself to sleep every night.
"If the BPCA did not pay my rent, I and my children would be homeless - I just want to be out of this hell and I pray God delivers me from it."
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said: "It is highly egregious that the Thai authority refuse to take any blame for the death of such a young father with 3 small dependents. Coupled with the flagrant ignorance displayed by the UNHCR in Thailand who refuse to acknowledge Shahida's suffering and have offered no assistance to her, this situation is downright senseless.
"The refusal to reassess this family's claim for asylum, despite a huge rise in the risk to each member without their patriarch is a poor indictment of UNHCR's naive and supine nature.
"Moreover, the continuance of poor care for detainees at the notorious Bangkok IDC is in breach of several international laws, including article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). Yet the silence from western nations watching from the wings is not only deafening but utterly demoralizing."