Detained Christians in Thailand: ASEAN’s Latest Refugee Issue

FAR EAST CORRESPONDENT — Southeast Asia, with its ten countries squeezed into an area half the size of China and a volatile mix of politics and old-fashioned hatreds, has no shortage of issues with refugees, internally displaced people (IDPs), asylum seekers, illegal immigrants, smugglers, and traffickers.

Its porous borders and overstretched police mean there is no shortage of people prepared to try their luck in search of a safer, and perhaps more prosperous, life, as witnessed by the exodus of Rohingya Muslims out of Myanmar last year which left thousands stranded at sea.

Their story holds a familiar ring. BBC News has detailed the plight of thousands of Christian refugees from Pakistan, arrested and detained in Thailand after fleeing persecution in their own home. Some were arrested despite being registered by the United Nations as asylum seekers.

Read more from Luke Hunt in The Diplomat.

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Luke Hunt is a foreign correspondent, author and occasional photographer who has covered much of Asia fr the last 30 years.

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