‘You wouldn’t give the broth they gave you to your dog’: Australian tourist, 46, locked up in Thailand reveals she shared a cell with 200 other prisoners and could barely afford food and water
- Woman freed from Thailand detention centre broke silence days after release
- Claire Johnson, 46, said she was nabbed by authorities after overstaying visa
- Ms Johnson spent twelve days locked up with 200 women in cell meant for 30
- ‘It was like a Netflix documentary. Somebody in the cell next door died,’ she said
An Australian woman who was locked up in Thailand for 12 days after she overstayed her visa has spoken of the horrific conditions she endured.
Claire Johnson, 46, from the Gold Coast, said she was nabbed by authorities after overstaying her visa by 111 days.
News first broke of Ms Johnson’s detention after she sent a flurry of concerning messages to her close friend Juliet Potter from a Bangkok detention centre.
An Australian woman who was locked up in Thailand for 12 days after she overstayed her visa has spoken of the horrific conditions she endured
At the time of the messages earlier this month, Ms Potter told Daily Mail Australia her friend was terrified and asking for money to buy supplies from detention centre officials.
Ms Johnson has now told news.com.au after leaving Pattaya in Thailand’s eastern gulf, she was going through immigration to get her passport stamped.
She had feared she would receive a 20,000 baht ($880) fine at worst but instead she was transferred to the Immigration Detention Centre in Bangkok.
‘You wouldn’t give the broth they gave you to your dog,’ she said,
‘I was lucky if I got water. A Russian lady who had been there nine months gave me money I gave back when the embassy came.
Claire Johnson, 46 (pictured), said she had feared she would receive a 20,000 baht ($880) fine at worst but instead she was transferred to the Immigration Detention Centre in Bangkok
Ms Johnson, who is an ex-cosmetic tourism operator, said she was told the room would be like the immigration office but the reality was a cell meant for 30 crammed with 200 women.
‘I felt like I was stuck in a Netflix documentary; it was horrific. The first night somebody in the cell next door died,’ she said
Johnson took to Facebook earlier this week to warn people against spreading misconceptions about her ordeal.
‘Truth is much stranger than fiction,’ she posted on her profile.
She said she was embarrassed at first at her predicament, but got over it when she realised there were people in much worse situations than her.
Ms Johnson (pictured) arrived back in Australia a little over a week ago after she spent nine days detained in Thailand
Ms Johnson, also known as Ms Licciardo, had just wrapped up an 18-month working holiday that took her around the world when catastrophe struck.
‘They are taking my phone… Have to go,’ Ms Johnson wrote to Ms Potter in one message.
‘Help me … call the media,’ another message read.
‘She needs help… She apparently had to pay somebody,’ Ms Potter said.
‘She called me and asked me to wire her some money. She said something about wanting to buy a blanket in the jail – you must have to buy a pillow and a blanket.’
In a message to another friend, Ms Johnson said she was ‘panicking’ as she was taken into custody.
Ms Johnson (pictured) had just wrapped up an 18-month working holiday around the world when catastrophe struck
News first broke of Ms Johnson’s detention after she sent a flurry of concerning messages (pictured) to her close friend Juliet Potter from a Bangkok detention centre
‘They said the detention centre is not like a jail. I am praying he is right,’ she wrote.
‘Now I know what it feels like to be a prisoner. They won’t even let me go to the toilet by myself.’
The reason behind Ms Johnson’s detainment later emerged as she had overstayed her visa by 111 days.
Ms Johnson (pictured) also goes professionally by the name of Claire Licciardo
Ms Johnson also goes professionally by the name of Claire Licciardo.
She previously operated a business called Cosmetic Holidays which organised medi-travel trips for Australians going overseas for cosmetic surgery.
The business was voluntarily deregistered after five years of operation in 2017.
During that year Ms Johnson moved overseas after living on the Gold Coast for 20 years.