A few days before the first scheduled departure, the High Court in London authorized the controversial “Rwanda plan” to be implemented. With this plan, the British government wants to send asylum seekers to the East African country so that they can complete their asylum procedures there. With this decision, the court rejected the appeal of various human rights organizations.
Lawyers representing asylum seekers and human rights groups believe the policy is illegal and have demanded that next week’s scheduled trip and future trips be cancelled. In turn, London High Court Justice Jonathan Swift said it was “generally important for the Home Secretary (Priti Patel) to be able to implement immigration control decisions”. Swift described the risks to asylum seekers, which the organizations described as “minor” and “speculative”. The judge also rejected the allegation that there were shortcomings in the Rwandan asylum system.
According to Matthew Gulick, a British government lawyer, 31 migrants will be sent to Rwanda next Tuesday, and more flights are expected in the coming months.
‘The struggle is not over’
Refugee aid organizations were given permission to appeal. The appeals court will hear their arguments on Monday. Sonia Siats, president of Freedom from Torture, said she was “disappointed” but stressed that the battle was “not over yet”. You promised to use “every means available” to stop the “neocolonial programme”.
Also within the British government, many opponents denounced the plan, describing it as an attempt to “divert attention” from the political scandals surrounding Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Home Secretary Priti Patel supports the Supreme Court’s decision. “We will continue preparations for the maiden voyage to Rwanda, along with a series of other measures aimed at reducing the number of small boat crossings,” she said.
In total, up to 130 people have been notified of the need to leave the country.
Since the beginning of the year, more than 10,000 migrants have crossed the Channel illegally to reach the British coast in small boats, a significant increase from the already high numbers in previous years.
Paul Kagame has led Rwanda since the end of the 1994 genocide, which killed 800,000 people, according to the United Nations. NGOs regularly accuse the state of suppressing freedom of expression and political dissent.
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