A 34-year-old Christian, Ijaz, who had fled Pakistan for fear of persecution, received news on 26 May that his application for refugee status had been refused. The next day he died at the Immigration Detention Centre (IDC) in Bangkok. Some months earlier he complained of chest pains and was hospitalised, but doctors could not diagnose his problem. At the IDC, he was put in the punishment room because he could not pay his hospital bill. Eventually his local church in Bangkok paid the bill, with help from Barnabas Fund. The IDC doctor refused to allow his pastor to bring him medicine. Around 4,000 Pakistani Christians have fled persecution and made their way to Thailand, only to find that they are treated as criminals there. Immigration police carry out arbitrary mass arrests, even raiding worship services, searching for people without valid visas. Detainees are held in such harsh and horrifically overcrowded conditions that some have chosen to go back to Pakistan and face persecution. One source said that this desperate decision is often made because they are not receiving treatment for life-threatening medical conditions. ‘It is a 21st century concentration camp, without the gas chambers’, he said.
Thailand: lack of medical treatment for refugeesWritten by David Fletcher 23 Jun 2017
- Pray: for all those caught in refugee traps. Give thanks for groups like Barnabas Fund who seek to stand by these desperate people. Pray also for tolerance and care between cultures and faiths. (Daniel 6:26b-27a)
- More: barnabasfund.org/appeals/Pakistani-Christian-refugees-in-Thailand-desperately-need-your-help