Miss Grand Myanmar 2020 Han Lay, says Myanmar police attached to their embassy in Bangkok tried to gain access to her, but she rejected their request and sought help from the UN High Commission representation for refugees in Bangkok, lest she might be forcibly returned to Vietnam and then deported to her home country.
Han Lay, who arrived at Suvarnabhumi International Airport from Vietnam on Thursday, told Thai PBS that she was refused entry to Thailand by immigration officials, who told her that There was a problem with his passport and his name was on Interpol’s red list, after Myanmar’s military junta informed Interpol that his passport had gone missing in Vietnam.
She said Thai immigration officials assured her that they would be with her throughout her meeting with Myanmar authorities, if she allowed them to see her. She said she told officials she did not want to see them, insisting it was her right to do so.
Han Lay said that normally a tourist who leaves Thailand and then returns with a valid visa would be entitled to have their visa extended for a certain period.
In her case, she said she had been in Thailand for over a year and traveled to Vietnam this week for three days before returning to Bangkok on Thursday to have her visa extended, adding that she hadn’t had any problems with her passport. during her stay in Vietnam and the Vietnamese immigration officials did not inform her that she had a problem.
She also said that after she was refused entry to Thailand on Thursday, a flight was arranged for her to be sent back to Vietnam. She added that she almost boarded the flight back to Vietnam but first consulted UNHCR and was advised not to go due to the risk of being deported back to Myanmar if she could not. not enter Vietnam due to his passport problem.
She revealed that she had asked UNHCR to take refuge in a third country, but declined to give further details.
Han Lay took part in the Miss Grand International 2020 pageant in Bangkok last year, where she protested against Myanmar’s military government, which then issued an arrest warrant for her.
Meanwhile, the Thai Foreign Ministry said Han Lay was not under arrest in Thailand but was denied entry due to her passport issue.
Human Rights Watch Thailand adviser Sunai Phasuk said Thai officials have promised not to send Han Lay back to his home country, but will allow him to travel to a third country.
He cited the case of a Saudi woman, who was detained by immigration officials at Suvarnabhumi airport about three years ago, also because of a passport problem with the Saudi government.
The woman, who then sought political refuge in a third country, eventually went to Canada, Sunai said.