News / Asia

Thailand Says Elderly Chinese Dissident Granted Refugee Status

Multimedia

Audio
Daniel Schearf

Thai immigration officials say an elderly Chinese dissident detained since December has been granted U.N. refugee status and will be resettled in a third country. A press-freedom group had been concerned he would be sent back to China where he would face persecution.

Thai immigration officials told VOA Wednesday that Chinese citizen Sun Shucai is no longer in danger of being deported to China.

The 87-year-old activist and writer was detained in Thailand on December 8, despite having a pending application for refugee status with the United Nations.

Immigration officials say Sun overstayed his visa by more than two years. He was facing the possibility of being deported back to China and the risk that he could be imprisoned for criticizing the ruling Communist Party.

Immigration Police Major Vatcharapon Karnchanakantorn said Sun was granted U.N. refugee status in December, however, so they would not force him back to China.

Vatcharapon said Sun submitted the document requesting refugee status to the United Nations refugee agency and asked to be relocated to a third country. He said they cannot force Sun to return to China because it would be against human rights.

The U.N. refugee agency would not confirm Sun’s status because, as a policy, they do not comment on individual cases.

Vatcharapon said it is not clear when Sun will be relocated to a third country, but in the meantime he will be kept in detention. He said so far while in detention, a UNHCR representative met daily with Sun, and a Chinese consular official visited once.

The Paris-based press freedom group Reporters Without Borders says Chinese authorities keep a close eye on dissidents in Bangkok.

The group said Sun’s political activism in China started in the 1950s, when he was sentenced to 14 years hard labor for criticizing Mao Zedong’s communist revolution.

Reporters Without Borders said he resumed critical writing about the Communist Party in the late 1990s on the Internet and in a New York-based dissident magazine, Beijing Spring.

Chinese laws on paper protect freedom of speech. In practice, though, Chinese citizens who publicly criticize the ruling Communist Party are dealt with harshly, often with lengthy prison sentences.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs