Pakistani Christians fleeing to Thailand from persecution by their Muslim countrymen have been harshly treated and imprisoned as illegal immigrants.

The men are shackled, mothers and children separated and the children frequently become ill in cramped detention centres.

Thanks to an appeal to Lord Alton, their plight has been raised with the UNHCR and after the BBC aired a documentary about their plight, the  British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) was able to visit to the Royal Thai Embassy in London.

Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the BPCA, presented a report on the problems faced by Christians in Pakistan during his visit on 9 March.

He said: “We have sought an amnesty from arrest for mothers and seriously ill victims on the basis that detainee children are suffering severe sickness due to unhygienic conditions and several victims with treatable existing health concerns have died in immigration centres –  two this year.”