Bakhtiaris "holed up" in Bangkok, suspected in Thai jail

Project SafeCom Inc.
P.O. Box 364
Western Australia 6312
Phone: 0417 090 130

Bakhtiaris "holed up" in Bangkok, suspected in Thai jail

Media Release
Sunday January 2 2005 9:20am WST
For Immediate Release
No Embargoes

"According to Kay Danes from the Foreign Prisoner Support Service, who with her husband Kerry was falsely imprisoned in a Laos jail in 2001 for suspected diamond smuggling, the fact that the Bakhtiari family is now stuck in Thailand as immigration detainees is disturbing news.

Ms Danes is available for media interviews on this issue.

"The Bakhtiari family, deported last week to Pakistan with a charter flight from National Jet Systems, is stuck in Thailand. Reporters from South Australian newspaper The Advertiser have confirmed this in a news report, and Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone has acknowledged that the charter flight stranded three days ago on Bangkok airport as a result of disruptions to flights in that region because of the tsunami.

"This adds to the torture and woes heaped on the family, who no doubt have been thrown indiscriminately into a stinking prison cell with the entire family, together with criminals," Project SafeCom spokesman Jack Smit commented.

"We know that the Australian government doesn't give a damn about its human rights record and its continuing breaches of international conventions, but the Bakhtiari family should be brought back immediately. Courtesy Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone we now have babies and children in a jail in Thailand.

"This is not the first time that the immigration department seriously bungles a deportation. Last year the Kadem family were also thrown into a Bangkok prison when their deportation did not go as planned. We do not expect any action from the foreign affairs Minister Alexander Downer, who is already on the record of joining Amanda's vilification chorus of the Bakhtiari family, nevertheless, we remind the Foreign Minister of his immediate responsibilities in this affair, which seems to develop into yet another forced deportation bungle."

For more information:

Ms Kay Danes
Foreign Prisoner Support Service
[phone number posted]

Jack H Smit
[phone number posted]

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