Recently there have numerous media reports about the arrest of Falun Gong practitioner Tao Leng, who went on exile in Thailand, at his home by the Thai police.
On Nov 15, according to Thailand Headlines, Thai police arrest a 64 year-old male Chinese national on the ground of overstaying his visa in Thailand. His name is Tao Leng, abbreviated as MR. TAO,
According to reports, on Nov. 4, 6 Qingkang immigration police entered the rental house of Tao Leng in Qingkang, trying to arrest him in the name of illegal detention. When Tao Leng showed his passport and UN refugee certificate, the police stated that although he had been granted asylum by the United Nations, that does not mean he can stay in Thailand for long. Therefore, the police transferred Tao Leng to the Immigration Bureau in Thailand on the grounds of expired passports and overstaying his visa in Thailand.
According to reports, in 2014, Mr. Tao entered Bangkok through Suvarnabhumi Airport with tourist visa. He was supposed to leave Thailand on April 20, 2014. However, he overstayed his visa in Thailand for 2024 days, approximately 5 years.
According to Minghui reports, Leng, Tao suffered 10 years of persecution in mainland China. In Feb. 2014, Leng, Tao went on exile in Thailand, and applied for asylum in the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNCHR). He was stranded in Thailand while waiting for the resettlement to a third country by the United Nations.
However, in recent 5 years, the UN refugee resettlement has stalled, causing Tao Leng and hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners in Thailand to not have the opportunity to be resettled to a 3rd country. They are not able to work due to their refugee status, therefore struggled to get by.
Currently, there are over 100 Falun Gong practitioners in Thailand seeking asylum. Most of them had suffered persecution in mainland China. Some stayed in prison for over 10 years, many families were broken apart. Some don’t even have a penny in their pocket. The one who stayed in Thailand the longest has been in Thailand for seven years or more, including 16 teenagers, 19 seniors older than 60 years of age. There are 5 more who are still in immigration prison in Thailand – they are Hongjun Li (for over 7 years), Jianhua Wang (for over 4 years), Hongbin Jiang, Chunling Ma, Tao Leng (arrested at home).
According to local law, as Thailand did not sign the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees in 1951 with the United Nations, the country does not recognize the status of refugees. Refugees are treated in the same way as illegal immigrants in Thailand. Falun Gong practitioners are deprived of some of the rights granted by the status as refugees. Those Falun Gong practitioners are not allowed to work and do not have any source of income. Most of them rely on the help of friends and families in China to get by. Some could just only rely on the help of practitioners. Under rare circumstances, some had to work illegally to support themselves to survive the long and painful process of refugee application, while facing the risk of being arrested into prison and repatriated to China. Some even picked up vegetable on the market discarded by others to get by because they did not have money to survive. They were renting a small cabin with relatively poor living conditions.
Mental fear – in 2018, REAL-NAME system on MOBILE PHONES was implemented in Thailand. Everyone’s mobile phone was under surveillance. In early 2019, Huawai signed a 5G contract with Thailand, computers and cell phones were both subject to severe interference.
The biggest fear is facing the danger of arrest at any time. Since August 2014 till now, Thai police has initiated more than 10 arrests, and a total of 40 people were arrested. They were sent to Bangkok IDC (also known as immigration prison), suffering inhumane treatment. There were Chinese human rights advocates who have even lost their lives in prison and were even forced to be repatriated to China, suffering the brutal persecution by the CCP.
We urge that senators and congressmen of all countries will take into consideration our difficult situation, will pay attention and help Falun Gong practitioners in Thailand and help us get out of this predictament and get resettled to a third county. We urge that the Thai government will follow the promise made to the United Nations, in accordance with their cabinet resolution passed on January 10, 2017, to distinguish refugees from illegal immigrants, give humanitarian care to UN-protected refugees and do not make their difficult living conditions even worse.
Thanks again. Sincere thanks!
Falun Gong practitioners seeking asylum in Thailand
2020.1.25Jan 25, 2020
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