The Unheard Plea of Christian Refugees in Thailand

A pic of Shahbaz Latif & his family with late brother Shahid.

A pic of Shahbaz Latif & his family with late brother Shahid.

OCP News Service – 18/8/16

During the second week of August 2016, the Public Relations and Information Services Dept. of Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE received the below email from Mr. Shahbaz Latif, a Pakistani Christian Refugee living in Thailand. Those willing to help him and his family can reach them at – messiah58507@gmail.com

The Plea from Shahbaz Latif 

I am Shahbaz Latif from Pakistan and I am a victim of the persecution and have been living in Bangkok with my toddler and wife.

Since 2012, I have been stranded in UNHCR refugee status determination process. The gigantic humanitarian organization have been unable to aid in protection, relief and education.

Since 2013 hundred and thousands of urban asylum seekers and refugees have been detained by the immigration authorities as Thailand is not a signatory of refugee protocol. Children, mothers, men, and women, young and old were detained in immigration detention center and still there are many remaining in detention.

We are not allowed to work and the church is our source of survival, unfortunately, their funds are shrinking as well.

Year after year the protection UNHCR nor by other authority. My brother along with another family members fled to Burma by, but on the way, they were detained in China in March 2016.

During that time I contacted all humanitarian organizations including UNHCR in Beijing. They were detained in an unknown place for two months and then deported back to Myanmar. The Ordeal was horrific and the Burmese concentration camp was unhygienic, children were shackled and drugged and after one month of torture were left at Thai border.

Somehow, a good Samaritan helped them to reach Bangkok, but only hopes were given by humanitarian organizations. With no medication, on 19 June 2016 my brother passed away due to coronary artery disease at the age of 34.

Recent interview in Swedish media
http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=83&artikel=6463085

Since I lost my brother, my family has no support and assistance from anyone nor do we have any hope in stranded refugee status determination process. Because UNHCR says most of their funds have been utilized for Syrian refugee crisis.

We have to bear all the loss, we are not allowed to work, unable to provide education to children, have to beg for every meal and shelter and bear all consequences.

British Broadcasting news BBC undercover reporter brought what we go through since Thailand is not a signatory of Refugee Protocol – Geneva Convention.

BBC REPORT
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/n3csy4kf

I humbly request the honorable Orthodox Church, its media, and members, whosoever wish to aid my family in finding a durable solution to have a safe haven to survive would highly be appreciated.

Source:
OCP News Service