Former Myanmar beauty pageant contestant remains detained at Thailand’s airport, but will not be returned to Myanmar say authorities

Bangkok –

Former Myanmar beauty contestant Han Ley was detained at Suvarnabhumi International Airport on Thursday, September 22nd, after returning from Vietnam at around 2:30 AM.

According to her statement to BBC Myanmar, she was detained at the airport lounge after receiving her passport from an immigration officer who told her that she had committed a crime in Myanmar and was wanted by Interpol.

Han Ley is a model who previously captured international recognition for her speech against Myanmar’s anti-junta military coup during the Miss Grand beauty contest last year. She took refuge in Thailand for about one year after speaking out against the Myanmar military.

She traveled to Vietnam to renew her visa after staying in Thailand with a tourist visa for more than a year. The model then traveled to Da Nang and returned to Thailand. However, she was detained by Thai Immigration.

Han Ley worried that Thai officials would send her back to her homeland. But international organizations in Thailand are trying their best to negotiate, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) who sent someone to her and offered immediate assistance.

Han Ley added that she has not yet been repatriated to Myanmar and is currently in Thailand. She also told journalists that she is planning for a trip to Canada but is not sure if after this incident, she will have to travel to the third country or not.

According to the Thailand’s Immigration Bureau, Han Ley was detained under Section 12 of the Immigration Act 1979 due to an irregularity spotted in her passport. The authority is currently in the process of coordinating with the airlines to have her travel outside the Kingdom.


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National News Writer at The Pattaya News from September 2020 to October, 2022. Born and raised in Bangkok, Nop enjoys telling stories of her hometown through her words and pictures. Her educational experience in the United States and her passion for journalism have shaped her genuine interests in society, politics, education, culture, and art.