February 24, 2024

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Anti-Putin rockers arrested in Thailand escape deportation to Russia

Anti-Putin rockers arrested in Thailand escape deportation to Russia

Despite pressure from Moscow, they headed for Tel Aviv. Members of dissident rock band Bi-2 have escaped extradition to Russia after being detained by immigration officials in Thailand since last week. A reprieve for the group, popular for its anti-war stances in Ukraine and Vladimir Putin's Russia, which has been accused of terrorism by the Kremlin.

The group was arrested on the tourist island of Phuket, home to many Russians, during a concert as part of an international tour. Thai authorities put the dissident artists in a detention center, citing work visa issues.

Risks of Harassment

But the experiment of dissident rockers, some members of Israeli or Australian descent, is over. Bi-2 indicated on its Facebook page that they had been released and were on their way to Israel.

Thailand's National Security Council, chaired by Prime Minister Shretha Thavisin, is confirmed to be leaving the kingdom. “All the musicians of Pi-2 have left Thailand and are safe. They are headed for Tel Aviv,” the publication said, ending fears of deportation to Russia, where the NGO said. Human Rights WatchThey were at risk of persecution.

The issue has put Bangkok in a delicate situation vis-à-vis Russia, one of its most vital trading partners.

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