We contacted the British Embassy in Bangkok to find out more for people looking for relatives and loved ones who they think might be in prison in Thailand and asked them for information for people who are interested in visiting British prisoners while they are visiting Thailand.
Here is our email:
I am the founder of www.khaosanroad.com – a website dedicated to budget travel in Thailand and the Khao San Road area of Bangkok. We regularly receive emails from people with queries regarding foreign prisoners in Bangkok and Thailand, especially British prisoners. The queries are varied but often follow one of a couple of themes:
1) People looking for information on how they can visit foreign prisoners when they are in Thailand, and
2) People looking for relatives who they believe might actually be in prison in Thailand.
For the former point, we have some information gathered from visitors who have been through the process of visiting prisoners, but the information always leads to the same point – people must get a list of current prisoners from the relevant embassy. In addition, the information we provide is far from comprehensive.
For the latter point, very little seems to be available on the Internet about how people can go about finding out if one of their relatives is in prison in Thailand, and again, the trial leads to the British and other embassies.
I was therefore wondering to what extent the British Embassy in Thailand might be able to officially comment in these two issues in a fashion that might be published on www.khaosanroad.com.
I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.
Very best regards
Here is the British Embassy’s reply:
Many thanks for your e-mail. There are a number of the British nationals who are in prison in Thailand, who have indicated that they are willing to receive visitors. The major difficulty is that the visiting times in the prisons vary according to which room number the prisoner is in. It is best for anyone who wishes to go on a visit, and is serious about their visit, to contact us for more detailed information. When can they tell them who they can visit and exactly what the visiting days and times are. But what I am keen to avoid are frivolous enquiries from people who do not follow through with the visit.
The Royal Thai Police are required to notify the Embassy of the arrest of any British national in Thailand. Anyone who believes that a relative has been arrested or is in prison should contact us, unless they are in the UK. In the UK they contact the Thailand Desk of the Consular Directorate in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Telephone 0207 008 0105. But, for data protection reasons, we can only confirm the details of anyone who has been arrested or is in prison if they consent.
I hope that this information helps.
Vice-Consul British Embassy, Bangkok 1031
So, there you have it – contact the British Embassy in Bangkok if you are looking for someone who might be in prison AND if you want to visit British prisoners. However, in the latter case, make sure you are serious about the visit.