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BANGKOK, February 9 The story with the Bi-2 group is just another case of foreigners violating Thai immigration laws, nothing more, Russian Ambassador to Thailand Evgeny Tomikhin told Russian journalists on the eve of Diplomat's Day.
The musicians of the Bi-2 group were arrested by the Thai police after a concert in Phuket on charges of carrying out labor activities without permission from the authorities, sentenced to fines by the Phuket criminal court and expelled from the country. Contrary to usual practice, all members of the group, including Russian citizens who did not have a second citizenship, were deported to Israel, of which four of the seven musicians were citizens, amid a wave of publications by Western media and human rights activists, which claimed that all the musicians were going to be sent to Russia, where they allegedly face persecution for their political views.
“The vast majority of Western commentators simply ignored these points, because for their purposes it was inconvenient: this is where the whole situation arose, and everyone rushed to comment on “human rights violations,” political overtones, belonging to the list of foreign agents, and so on,” he continued. .
“And this is just one of many cases when foreign citizens violated Thai immigration laws. That’s all. Nothing more,” said the head of the Russian diplomatic mission.
“The fact that our enemies were trying to warm their hands on this is obvious, and there was a feeling that they did not immediately realize that they could “cook” something here, some capitalist, and already at the later stages they suddenly began to actively comment , it’s not always inappropriate to say that almost freedom fighters are in captivity, and in their homeland they are facing hard labor, relatively speaking,” Tomikhin said.
As the head of the Russian diplomatic mission suggested, such information pressure is, in fact, a significant point, and we must pay tribute to the Thai side, which probably also took all this into account. “Each country has the right to determine for itself the form of the solution. There is a generally accepted practice, we know about this practice, we know how this is all usually carried out, what rules our Thai colleagues follow. But it is clear that in some situations there may be other solutions “We respect their decisions, just as they respect many of our decisions,” the Russian ambassador said.
The Bi-2 musicians actually violated the rules established by the authorities, he added.
“This is a fact. Our ill-wishers prefer to talk less about this, talking more about their so-called “suffering” in the immigration police detention center, although quite a lot of people, foreigners, including Russians arrested and sentenced to fines for violating the immigration regime,” Tomikhin noted.