Honorable Mr. Ban Ki-moon Secretary General,
United Nations Headquarters:
1st ave. and 46th street
New York, NY 10017 USA
Tel: 1 (212) 963 1234
Subject: Pakistani Christian Asylum Seekers Arrested by Bangkok Police
Honorable Mr. Ban Ki-moon,
My name is M.A. Joseph Francis and I am National Director of a human rights organization, Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) in Pakistan and a council member of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan since 1992. CLAAS is an international non-governmental, non-political and charitable organization, working in Pakistan and in UK since 1992 and through its sub offices in Netherlands and Paris, Belgium and UK.
I am a human rights activist and working for the persecuted people especially woman and children from minority groups of Pakistan for last fifty years. I am the founder and the National Director of Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS), a multi religious, non-government and non profitable organization. The main objective of CLAAS is to work for the elimination of human rights violation and help to build a just and peaceful society providing free legal assistance and rehabilitation to the survivors of religious intolerance, forced conversion, sexual abuse, domestic violence and all sort of oppression.
I am writing you on behalf of Pakistani Christian refugees who have faced extreme persecution having no other choice but to flee from Pakistan to save their lives. These persecuted Christians, including families with children have registered for asylum with the United Nations Human Rights Commission for Refugees at the UNHCR office in Bangkok. They have scheduled interviews and are waiting to be transferred to countries which will accept them as refugees and grant them asylum.
In direct communication with Pakistan Christian asylum seekers, i have been made aware that the Bangkok police have arrested thousands of Christian immigrants, including their children and they are being held in the Thailand Immigration Detention Centres (IDC).
No doubt, you have heard about the terrible outcome of Mr. Faisal and family. His wife aged 29 years, died in a detention centre in Bangkok, Thailand. Without receiving medical help. Her husband is left alone to take care of himself and his two years old son and is still waiting to receive his wife’s dead body. Up to the time of my writing, he is still without any help from any part of social community.
Pervaiz Ghouri was good in health before the arrest in the hands of immigration Detention Center few months ago, and then he took it very serious. Then his brain was hammerhead due to fear and tension. He was failed to protect his family and unsuccessful to fulfill the dreams of his children. Not because he was not a good father or good husband but because he lost the battle of life.
After the deaths of Sanina Faisal, Daud Aziz, Dr. Nazir, Baba Sadiq, Nomi Waqas, Rasheed Masif, Faris Ayub, Riaz Masih, Jerry (Jaris). Mr. Riaz is also in same condition, now he is in hospital and in critical condition. Riaz, like thousands of other persecuted Christians fled Pakistan and sought protection in Thailand, but no protection was ever given to them neither the resettlement to a safe third nation was ever done by UNHCR. They passed away with the shattered hopes of seeing his family in a safe place where they could worship Christ freely and no fear of being burnt alive would chase them. Many women refugees from Pakistan on the Thai border have been forced into prostitution to provide for families.
Today we are not going to judge anyone neither declaring someone as culprit but what we want today is leaving the decision and authority to prosecute responsible in your hands. 13 innocent Pakistani Christians have died in last 1 year. How many more are we expecting to die?
This is only part of the many outrageous things to live with and I request your help on behalf of the peoples in Bangkok living in the same situation. In the name of God we turn to you to help them to find freedom. They as human beings wish to be heard and treated with respect facing this unacceptable crisis. I understand my request is a difficult problem to solve but their situation is even worse.
I humbly request you to ask government of Thailand to grant asylum to these refugees, or the opportunity to seek asylum in other countries. I appeal to you for their release and ensure the police will refrain from making unnecessary arrests. In this dire situation, we beseech you to offer the refugees protection. If their visa will be extended they can proceed with the asylum case, sending them back to Pakistan would most certainly put them in grave danger. All they ask for is to be given the opportunity to live in a nation where they can practice their religion freely, without fear or oppression and to live in peace. During their stay they should have proper medical care and food facility. It is a human right that should be given to all mankind.
Thanking you in anticipation.
M.A Joseph Francis MBE National Director CLAAS
Council Member Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) Chairman Pakistan Christian National Party (PCNP)