At some stage during their incarceration all Britons will consider whether to repatriate from Thailand back to the UK. After cursory research the majority reject the facility. Those that feel that possibly they have an advantage by doing so formalise their intentions by requesting that Mrs Dufall of the Embassy initiates the request by contacting the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) – a division of the UK Ministry of Justice overseeing the incarceration of offenders in British Prisons.
We British inmates in Thai jails have been told by Mrs Dufall that this is the official process and nearly all accept this verbal statement. However, this is untrue. An applicant, such as myself, is free to submit their intention directly to NOMS and therefore bypass the British Embassy.
What is impressed on us is that NOMS can arbitrarily decide, without stating any reason whatsoever, to reject the application. Whilst this contingency is permitted for by the UK/Thai repatriation treaty, I find it impossible to accept that a British Civil Servant could wilfully exercise the prerogative, without having (as one of my supporters stated) “A bloody good reason to do so” Even then the said Civil Servant would be required to divulge the justification.
That the charity Prisoners Abroad (P.A.) emphatically bolster this conceit is a sad reflection on their impartiality. P.A. Goes on to imply that NOMS could easily prevent a British National repatriating on the basis that the applicant can not demonstrate existing familial ties with other full nationals back in the UK. This is Bollox.
I freely admit that when it comes to the UK's Ministry of (In)Justice and its foreign service the Foreign and Commonwealth Office I adamantly debate the lack of any form of willingness to serve the best interests of their paymasters, the British Taxpayer. The term “jobsworths” comes to mind. One only has to reference the recent case of Stephen Ingram and Xi Lin and Mrs Dufall's refusal to acknowledge that they were being imprisoned illegally by the Royal Thai Police to concur with my argument (http://www.andrew-drummond.com/tag/stephen-ingram/).
As such I can only accept one explanation as to why they persist in giving wrong information regarding repatriation – Control.
By sowing the seeds of doubt that it is not automatic for our Government to accept us back into a British gaol, Mrs Dufall wields a very large Damoclean Sword to ensure our compliance with how she interprets British Foreign Office policy towards UK Nationals in Thai jails. That this has been successful for many, many years is evident from a recent request under the Freedom of Information Act to NOMS. In it the question was asked:
“Since the 6th February 1991 when the United Kingdom - Thailand Prisoner Transfer Agreement came into force, how many UK citizens have the UK Government refused to repatriate from Thai prisons to UK prisons and for what reasons?“
The answer which came back was:
“Since Bilateral Agreement on the Transfer of Offenders and on Co-operation in the Enforcement of Penal Sentences between the Kingdom of Thailand and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland came into force in 1991 the Ministry of Justice has not refused any British citizen’s application for repatriation to the United Kingdom.“
Contrary me, daring to be different, refuses to comply with Mrs Dufall's directive. Lets see if I'm the first to be summarily rejected by NOMS