A court ruled that the British government could not deport asylum seekers to Rwanda

The UK Government is not currently allowed to transfer asylum seekers to Rwanda to go through the UK’s asylum procedure.

This was decided by the Court of Appeal in London in a case brought by refugee organizations and a group of asylum seekers. Rwanda is “not a safe third country” and deporting people there is illegal as long as the country does not improve its asylum system, the justices’ 2-1 majority ruled. The case is likely to go to the Supreme Court now.

Deportations of asylum seekers were supposed to start in September, but that now appears to be over. All asylum seekers who entered the UK illegally after 1 January 2022 were supposed to be transferred to Rwanda. This mainly concerned refugees who crossed the canal by boat. In 2022 that will be 45,000 people, and this year so far more than 10,000.

The British government has already signed a deal with Rwanda, which will take asylum seekers there for around €144m in aid. In the beginning, he was going to take care of a thousand people. Rwanda is already building homes for them.

In principle, asylum seekers would get a “one-way ticket”, as they are “economic refugees”, as then Prime Minister Boris Johnson said when presenting the plan in April 2022. “They can build a new life in this dynamic country ‘which we are now supporting'”. This ruling is also of great importance to other European countries, because there are more plans to allow Rwanda to take in asylum seekers.

The flight is cancelled

The verdict is a defeat for Prime Minister Sunak and Home Secretary Soila Braverman. They brand themselves strongly with a strict immigration policy. “Stop the boatsSunak always says that when listing the priorities of the Conservative government.

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The first flight was already ready in June 2022, but it was canceled at the last minute. The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has ruled that an Iraqi asylum-seeker may wait in the UK to see if deportations to Rwanda are legally valid. As a result of the ruling, a few other asylum seekers, whom the government was determined to deport, were also allowed to disembark. In December, a UK court ruled that it was lawful to transfer asylum seekers to Rwanda, but in January ruled that decision could be appealed. That was waiting now. The court has now overturned the earlier ruling.

Aid organizations vehemently opposed the plan. The Red Cross reports that potential displacement causes stress and anxiety for many asylum seekers. The plan will not prevent refugees from coming to the UK. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) intervened in the case and said during a hearing that Rwanda had violated the human rights of refugees in the past. So the UK could not guarantee the safety of the deportees. The judges now uphold this.

Megan Vasquez

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