Written Questions are submitted by MPs or Lords to receive information from a Department.
|1 Nov 2018, 4:07 p.m.||Thailand: Ahmadiyya||Siobhain McDonagh|
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his Thai counterpart on the arrest of 113 Ahmadi Muslims in that country.
Answer (Mark Field)
We are following closely the recent detention in Thailand of approximately 100 people, mainly from Pakistan, whom the Thai authorities consider illegal immigrants. This follows arrests of Cambodian and Vietnamese nationals at the end of August. We understand approximately 200 people who claim refugee and asylum status are currently in immigration detention, and that some of these are registered with the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). We believe that the recent orders are not aimed at any specific group or groups but apply to anyone whom the Thai authorities deem an illegal visa over-stayer, as part of a general tightening of immigration enforcement. In September a senior official from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office raised our concerns about the treatment of those in immigration detention with the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Our Embassy in Bangkok repeated the UK’s concerns on the matter with the Thai National Security Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister on 18 October. We are also working with the Thai authorities to improve conditions of detention.