- Urgent Appeal Letter to World Leaders
With this in mind, would you kindly support this urgent appeal for them to live in any country where their lives and well-being are not at serious risk – where they can live in safety and dignity and were they, and their families, will be able to build a future together as well.
“Our hope for a future life in dignity and safety”
It is our humble desire that Pakistani Christian, their family & we bring an urgent matter to the attention of the Presidents and Prime Ministers of the Developed World.
Pakistani Christians, who are already finding their lives in danger, are now finding themselves in an even more critical situation having sought asylum in Thailand.
UNHCR Thailand is not taking their asylum claims seriously or dealing with the outstanding situation quickly enough to have a positive result for all concerned! Pakistani Christian and my family are in danger of dying – painfully, slowly and uncompassionately!
In Thailand, asylum seekers face continuous risks of arrest, detention and forced return to their homelands where they are already at high risk. Some Christian asylum seekers have physical and psychological health problems resulting from trauma that they have experienced in their own country, compounded by their financial problems and the difficulties of trying to survive in Thailand. It is too hard and too expensive for them to afford medical care.
The cost of visa extension is a huge problem while they are struggling to pay for food and basic rent and so they live in fear of being detained or deported to Pakistan for not having a valid visa. However, in order to obtain the visa extension, they need to pay a 20 thousand Thai baht penalty for the visa which expired due to lack of money and also needs 60 to 80 thousand Thai Baht per person for a visa extension. This is an immediate need if they are to avoid once more being taken into Immigration Detention in Bangkok. Even if they get the UN to recognize their case, they still need to wait until a country accepts them for resettlement. On average, asylum seekers remain in IDC for 2 years.
Immigration detention negatively impacts children’s mental health by exacerbating previous traumas (such as those experienced by children fleeing repression in their home country) contributing to lasting depression and anxiety. Indeed, the education, health and future of children held in an IDC is spoiled, particularly when arbitrary or indefinite. This can be brutal, even for resilient adults. But the potential mental and physical damage to children, who is still developing, is particularly great.
However, their illegal situation prevents them from working. The livelihood of asylum seekers is very difficult in Thailand as asylum seekers have to spend (change of verb) a lot of money to support themselves while UNHCR follows up their cases before finally accepting them as refugees.
Pakistani Christian asylum seekers live illegally in the back streets of Bangkok, Thailand’s capital. They have no work, no rights, and no security. Sometimes, they have no milk for their small children. They cannot afford to send them to school or education and they spend entire days indoors. They have no choice but to wait. So they have to wait and dream of a life where they don’t need to hide and where their children can freely attend school and play.
A Recent Report on Pakistan by the Minority Rights Group International (MRG) tags Pakistan as“one of the most dangerous countries in the world for religious minorities”. After the implementation of Islamic Sharia law in Pakistan, 20 million Pakistani Christians are living below the poverty line. This legislation has turned them into third class citizens in their own land. This is the reality facing Pakistani Christians today.
Even though my family and others have escaped from the harsh realities of being Christian in Pakistan, their situation has gone from bad to worse.
Many of these Christians are educated, hard-working and have a lot to offer society. Extreme religious discrimination and oppression, victimization by the Blasphemy Law, forced conversions and death threats have forced them to leave their beloved families and homeland to seek safety in foreign lands. They have experienced much hardship and are in dire need of your help.
A Pakistani Christian, who facing human rights violation are forced to flee from persecution and thus lose their land. But it’s not only a piece of land they lose: they also lose their family, friends, relatives, society, culture and background.
What more can I say, except that they are people like you and me, people who are simply seeking safety. They are not criminals, they need to be protected and not victimized in this way.
With this in mind, would you kindly support this petition for them to live in any country where their lives and well-being are not at serious risk – where they can live in safety and dignity and were they, and their families, will be able to build a future together as well.
Your kind intervention in this matter is greatly appreciated!
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