Audio: Thai Radio Reports on Pirjo Svensson

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Background: Whilst visiting Thailand with her husband, Swedish Falun Gong practitioner Pirjo Svensson was detained by Thai Immigration Officers.

On April 29th 2003, the Chinese President visited Thailand for an international conference on SARS. It was on this day that Pirjo was arrested and her Visa was cancelled by the Thailand Immigration Office.

The Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Swedish Ambassador in Thailand delivered an official note to the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs, requesting an “immediate explanation” from the Thai authorities. On May 14th, the Swedish Ambassador requested Mrs. Svensson’s immediate release. As of May 30th, the Thai government still had not provided an explanation as to why Mrs. Svensson had been detained. Because of this, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned Thai Embassy representatives to their office in Stockholm.

The Media in Sweden has continuously reported the incident and have highlighted Pirjo’s innocence. Members of the European Parliament, human rights organisations in various countries, and the Swedish people have all written many letters to the King of Thailand, the Prime Minister, and the relevant government departments to appeal for Pirjo’s immediate release.

As a result of Thai government officials receiving strong pressure from the Chinese government, an erroneous decision was made to not allow Pirjo Svensson appeal in court. After her 37-day detention, she was released and personally escorted by the Swedish Ambassador to the Airport.

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