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The section at Phuket airport where the six are being held

No Sun or Fun on Phuket, Say Syria Six

Thursday, February 27, 2014
PHUKET: Six men from Syria who have been held captive at Phuket international Airport for 43 days are still hoping to find a country that will take them as refugees.

The United Nations' refugee organisation, UNHCR, ''is conducting fast-track refugee status determination for this group,'' a UNHCR spokesperson said today.

Two UNHCR representatives met with the six and interviewed them separately last week, a spokesman for the Syria six told Phuketwan by telephone from the Phuket airport ''Hospitality'' section today.

The men have been told they are better off staying on Phuket than being transferred to Bangkok. The ''Hospitality'' section is near the Immigration arrivals counter.

''Our accommodation here is still too cold,'' the spokesperson said, believing that the air conditioning has, if anything, been turned lower.

''And they forgot to feed us again yesterday.''

Mostly the men - all aged in their 20s - have been living on noodles. Four are Syrians while the other two are Palestinians who were living in Syria at the time they hatched the idea of buying fake Greek passports.

The six intended to follow the lead of others from Damascus who had reached sanctuary in Sweden via Beijing and Phuket. But the Chinese authorities checked and rejected the passports, returning the six to their port of embarkation - Phuket.

''We haven't seen the sun for 43 days now,'' said the spokesperson, who wishes to stay anonymous to protect his family in Syria. ''I think I have lost so much weight, perhaps seven or eight kilos.''

The six have been keen to make the point that they are all young and academic achievers who would make ideas refugees for an appropriate country.

The UNHCR spokesperson said the organisation ''have sought to provide material support, such as blankets. For confidentiality reasons, we cannot share further information on the individual cases.''


Comments have been disabled for this article.


''And they forgot to feed us again yesterday.''

yeah I'm sure they "forgot"...
I'm wondering what would happen if one of them got violently sick

Posted by sky on February 27, 2014 16:41


This is just crazy crazy! Who can we contact to at least bring them some food? Would the airport authorities allow people to drop some donations off for them?

Posted by Lana on February 27, 2014 21:56

Editor Comment:

I am sure that could be arranged. We'll make some inquiries and get back.


Forgot to feed prisoners? How can anyone defend this horrid country?

Posted by Big Daddy on February 28, 2014 00:09


lost seven or eight kilos maybe the immigration are thinking of branching into health tourism : )

Posted by Michael on February 28, 2014 00:53


Lana, what about the United Nations Refugee Agency ?

Posted by Elizabeth on February 28, 2014 14:54


Editor - since I live/work only metres from the airport, (and work as a TPV at the airport), I would be happy to visit and leave some food etc. - Simon

Posted by Simon Luttrell on February 28, 2014 17:39

Editor Comment:

I am fairly sure there would be no problem with dropping off halal food at the airport security office but it might pay to check first, Simon. It's then a simple matter of having someone carry it to Hospitality. Well worth giving it a go.


Why don't they go back to their own country? Why should the West have to give sanctuary to every muslim who gets tired of the self-inflicted chaos in their own countries?

Posted by don on March 8, 2014 15:54

Editor Comment:

Most true westerners would prefer to show glimpsed of humanity from time to time, don, rather than be totally selfish and uncaring. Grow a heart.


Why would the food have to be halal? If they are that picky, that means they are not hungry. I have the same experience with bringing food, all the way up to the mainland for the rohingya people, only to be told that they couldn't eat this. What a load of religious bull.

Posted by Charles on March 8, 2014 19:42

Editor Comment:

Your lack of respect for the beliefs of others clearly marks you as a superior being, Charles, but most of us prefer to be human and tolerant.


Cant wait for you to get locked up Alan :) Will be wonderful

Posted by Cant Wait on March 9, 2014 05:39

Editor Comment:

It isn't going to happen, ''Cant Wait.'' Your troubled mind must give you constant pain.


Charles, the fact is, according to the Quara 2:173, Muslims can in fact eat non-halal food, If there is absolutely no other halal food available and the Muslim is forced by necessity, then a Muslim is allowed to eat non-halal food.

@don and "Can't Wait", you both are lower than a snakes belly.

Posted by Laurie Howells on March 9, 2014 09:14


@myself.. my apologies to Muslims, I miss-spelt Qur'an (Koran)

Posted by Laurie Howells on March 9, 2014 10:13

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