INTERNATIONAL PRISONER TRANSFER

The international transfer of a prisoner represents international cooperation according to the Legislation Procedure for Co-operation between States in the Execution of Penal Sentences B.E. 2527 (1984). The objective of international prisoner transfer is to facilitate the return of persons convicted of crime abroad to their country of nationality to serve their remaining sentence.

 

General Principles

(1) A person sentenced in the territory of one party may be transferred to the territory of the other party

(2) A transfer of prisoners should be effected in cases where the offense giving rise to conviction is punishable by deprivation of liberty by the judicial authorities of both the transferring states and receiving states.

(3) The prisoner is not sentenced in respect of an offense under the law of Thailand as follows:

  • Against the internal or external security of the state
  • Against the monarch, his consort or his sons or daughter
  • Against legislation protecting national art treasures

(4) The sentence imposed on the prisoner is one of imprisonment, confinement or any other form of deprivation of liberty in any institution

  • For life
  • For an indeterminate period on account of mental incapacity
  • For a fixed period of which at least one year remain to be served at the time of the request of transfer

(5) The prisoner has served in the transferring state any minimum period of imprisonment, confinement or deprivation of liberty stipulated by the law of the transferring state

(6) The judgment is final and no further appeals or collateral attacks are pending

(7) The transferring and receiving states and the prisoner all agree to the transfer

 

 

Documents Required For Prisoner Transfer

 

Generally, documents required for the transfer applications vary depending on the treaty and laws or procedures of the country in which a prisoner is imprisoned. However, foreign prisoners imprisoned in Thailand should consult their embassies about their interest in transfer. Documentations provided to The Committee for Consideration of the transfer usually include:

  • Form letter signed by prisoner indicating interest in transfer
  • Birth certificate or passport
  • All Court Judgments
  • Prison progress report (security level, disciplinary reports, prison jobs, program participation, psychological evaluation, current medical condition)
  • Immigration status
  • Consent letter of the Receiving State including information on how the prisoner’s remaining sentence will be administered after transfer

 

Procedures on the Prisoner Transfer

 

  • The receiving state submits a request for the transfer of prisoners to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through its respective embassy in Thailand.
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs sends the request to the Department of Corrections (Secretary of the Committee for Consideration of the Transfer of Prisoners)
  • The Department of Corrections examines and gathers the documents and also arranges a meeting schedule for the Committee
  • A meeting of the Committee is held for consideration of the request for the transfer of prisoners
  • The Department of Corrections makes a report of the Committee’s meeting and drafts a transfer order to be signed by Chairman of the Committee

(followed by the flow chart of the transfer process)

 

 

Treaty on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons and on Co-operation in the Enforcement of Penal Sentences with other countries

Nowadays, Thailand has 35 bilateral prisoner transfer treaties in force in France, Spain, Canada, Italy, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Portugal, Austria, Israel, Poland, Denmark, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Norway, the Philippines, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Australia, Nigeria, the Netherlands, Mali. Laos, Swaziland, Cambodia, Pakistan, Vietnam, Belgium, Japan, Iran, South Korea, China and India.

Countries that treaties are in negotiation process are Turkey and Peru.

 

Numbers of Foreign Sentenced Prisoners transferred to their country of nationality

(Classified by the receiving states)

 

Countries Numbers
Cambodia 32
Canada 19
The Czech Republic 2
Denmark 3
Norway 1
The Netherlands 8
Nigeria 492
Belgium 1
Pakistan 34
Poland 3
France 36
Mali 5
Germany 28
Spain 33

 

Countries Numbers
Swaziland 1
Switzerland 11
Sweden 15
The United Kingdom 54
The United States of America 82
Australia 7
Austria 3
Italy 12
Israel 5
Iran 1
Estonia 6
Hong Kong 91
Total 985

 

 

Numbers of Thai Sentenced Prisoners transferred to Thailand to serve their remaining sentences

(Classified by the transferring states)

 

Countries Numbers
The United States of America 5
Hong Kong 2
Sweden 1
Israel 1
Total 9