Pakistani Christian Asylum seekers face crackdown of Thai Police in Bangkok
29 Aug 2018
London: August 29, 2018. (PCP) Buying milk is risky business for Pak-Christian asylum seekers as Thai police continue their crackdown. One young father Elvin Gill (29 yrs) found out just how hazardous this can be on 14 August when he left home on an errand and never came home. The arrest happened about 4:30pm in a Bangkok neighourhood.
Elvin Gill was arrested by Thai authorities for overstaying his visa resulting in him spending four days detained in Jail, over the Thai Mother's Day holiday before having a hearing. BPCA rushed in to pay his court fines for overstaying his visa enabling him to escape the brutality of Central Jail known internationally for its poor treatment of inmates. However, paying the fines is only small solace, as despite bail being posted Elvin will remain caged behind bars in the Immigration Detention Centre of Bangkok for an unknown length or time, which is only slightly less brutal.
Wilson Chowdhry said: "Our officer told us that this family has been in Bangkok since 15 February 2013. Elvin was married while in Bangkok and there are now three in their family: besides the couple a little boy named Moses.
"Elvin travelled to Bangkok to escape a blasphemy allegation, like so many other similar Pak-Christian asylum seekers the UNHCR refused his case, based on paucity of evidence. The family still had hope however, as they had been waiting for a Canadian private sponsorship. There are private sponsors in Canada who are willing to help him, they are doing this out of their own resources.
"The sponsorship process is very slow and the risks for those waiting here in Thailand are immense. Now that Elvin is being detained he leaves behind a wife and young child who have no source of income and they are terrified that they might not cope living on handouts from friends.
"It is very likely a sponsorship agreement holder has recognized this family as refugees as they are the only ones who can sponsor a UNHCR rejected applicant. We hope the Canadian Visa Office will act quickly and compassionately with all those who are waiting to be rescued out of this limbo, including this family."
Zarish , the wife of Elvin Gill told our BPCA Bangkok officer: "On 14th August 2018, my husband went to buy milk for my baby but was arrested by the police officers whilst enroute. The Police kept him detained in Central jail for almost 4 days because in Thailand there were public holidays.
"We only discovered that he was in jail the day before he had his court hearing and fortunately BPCA were able to pay overstay fine bringing an end to his terror amongst hardened criminals.
"We are not criminals, we came here to flee dangers in our homeland but we didn't know when we came here that our lives would become a living hell!
"My husband and I are surviving this ordeal but our son Moses is not dealing well with the situation; It breaks my heart breaks my heart and I really feel ashamed when my son asks about his father because I can do nothing to comfort him or to help my husband.
"Moreover now I have no idea how I will support myself and Moses, we relied totally on Elvin for our finances."
BPCA paid Elvin's court fines and we are monitoring the needs of his young family. Earlier this summer we reported on how a bus load of men were stopped and held in the Central Jail. BPCA was able to pay the fines for several of them so that they could be relocated to the IDC where conditions though draconian are better than being housed with known murders and sex offenders.
The husband of Naghma Shahzad was arrested during a bus raid and we also paid court fines for her husband who remains in IDC.