Son of prominent climate scientist desperate to get home from Thai detention centre
A prominent New Zealand climate change expert Dr Jim Salinger is working to bring his son home from the Thai Immigration Detention Centre where hes being held in what are described as deplorable conditions. Ari Salinger, 45, plead guilty to being in possession of two ecstasy tablets in Phuket , last September, His family expected him to be quickly deported to New Zealand, but Ari has instead found himself trapped in the system. It is difficult to work your way through the system. We have been in regular contact with him and they (the embassy) are doing their best, said Jim Salinger. READ MORE: * Most intense heatwave of century behind Marlborough's earliest harvest * Saudi teen detained in Bangkok could realise her dream of living in Australia * Saudi woman Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, who says her family want to kill her, emerges from barricaded room in Thai airport * Wellington Thai Embassy staff forced to flee live-in offices due to damaged Molesworth St building He had forwarded the money for his sons return flight to the New Zealand Embassy in Thailand, which is trying to find an airline willing to fly him home. Jim Salinger said getting an airline to accept his son was not straight forward as Ari had to be found to be fit to fly and any country where he has a stopover must agree in advance. I am told it can take any time from three weeks to three months and the problem is not with the embassy. Airlines have to accept him and the immigration process is not easy. Ari Salinger had been in Thailand since 2020 but his visa had expired and he was now being held in an immigration detention centre in Bangkok. In an email to media, Ari said the conditions he had been held in are deplorable and he wanted more help from the embassy. An embassy official supplied wet wipes, alcohol hygiene spray, face masks (which I later used to cover my eyes for sleep), he said in his email. His pregnant partner Vanessa Pagarigan, who lives in the Philippines, has been in Thailand helping him and providing food. She has appealed for help alleging he has been mistreated in custody. Pagarigan claims he has been prevented from using a toilet, deprived of food and water, and made to walk back naked to a police cell, in full view of the public. My fiance is a New Zealand citizen and was diagnosed with ADHD, depression and anxiety etc. He is also in constant pain due to dental treatments and operations gone wrong, which there is no time to fix, or due to the effects of treatment and accidents, before he will be sent indefinitely to a concentration camp style prison. Jim Salinger said his son was under a lot of stress. He is on medication but the alleged mental health issues he has are not an issue. He is not violent. He said Ari referred to the facilities in the detention centre as a germ factory and the hygiene was a worry. He is frustrated being there and everybody recognises that but we have all these (legal) hoops and boxes to get around. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it would not comment due to privacy reasons but confirmed the embassy in Bangkok was providing assistance to Ari.