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HOME // Phuket News // Foreign minister says Belarusian rockers Bi-2 might still be deported

Foreign minister says Belarusian rockers Bi-2 might still be deported


Thailand’s foreign minister says a Belarusian rock band arrested in Phuket will be deported if it’s confirmed they broke Thai law. Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara says the matter is with the National Security Council, which is checking the nationalities of each band member and where they would be deported to.

But in other Thai media reports, immigration officials have taken a softer stance saying that the band members would not be deported if they applied as political refugees, fearing repercussions if they were to be sent back to Moscow.

But Thailand’s foreign minister stood firm…

“Once the NSC finds out who they are and what nationality they have, the government will consider deporting them back to their countries. We must wait for the NSC to finish checking first, and once that is done, the process can start immediately.”

It’s understood that at least some of the members of Bi-2 are travelling on Russian passports, with Human Rights Watch warning they will not be safe if deported to Russia. The band are long-time critics of Vladmir Putin’s government and the war on Ukraine. The Kremlin has previously labelled them “foreign agents”.

The band was arrested by Thai immigration officials on January 24, after they performed in Patong without the required permit. According to a Nation Thailand report, the band claims the arrest was orchestrated by the Kremlin.

Meanwhile, Parnpree says their case is under review to determine if they did break Thai law.

“If they are found to have violated the law, we must proceed in line with the law.”

Speaking to BBC Thai, Sunai Phasuk from Human Rights Watch says if the band is deported, it would be the first clear human rights violation under the Srettha Thavisin administration. He points out that in a speech to the UN General Assembly in New York last year, the PM promised to observe the human rights treaty.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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