The recent arrests in Bangkok appear part of a renewed campaign against irregular foreign migrants in urban areas. In March, authorities arrested and detained 200 refugees, again mostly Pakistani and Somali, in a series of raids authorized by a July 2014 order from the Thai military junta, the National Council for Peace and Order.

“Thailand should not be arresting asylum seekers with documents from the UN refugee office,” Frelick said. “Punishing people who are fleeing ghastly conditions at home won’t keep them away, it will just add to their misery.”