UNHCR 'unsympathetic' of Pakistani Christian asylum seekers

There are over 10,000 Christian Pakistanis asylum seekers in Thailand

October 3, 2016
Pakistani Christian asylum seekers in Thailand are critical of the length of time that the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) takes in processing their applications, reports World Watch Monitor.

Pakistani Christians interviewed by World Watch Monitor and others said that they feel the UNHCR treats their applications indifferently and they are therefore delaying their relocation.

Johnson Nazir, a 45-year-old former bank teller, fled to Bangkok from Karachi in 2013.

"When I came to Thailand, the UNHCR was resettling refugees within a year, but now it takes more than a year after the submission of the application even to get an interview," said Nazir. "The final resettlement is now taking more than five years."

Christians say they have fled Pakistan because of threats, persecution and lack of security.

There are over 10,000 Christian Pakistanis asylum seekers in Thailand who are seeking to be relocated in the West, said the report, which added that, some of end up being detained and imprisoned by Thai police as "over-stayers."

The UNHCR has acknowledged it is dealing with a backlog of applications. World Watch Monitor says that there is a 51 percent increase in the number of applications from last year.

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