Despite the legal setback, London remains determined to send migrants to Rwanda

Tuesday night’s trip was the first to show the determination of the Boris Johnson government at the same time. Initially 130 asylum seekers were to be taken on this flight to Rwanda, but after a series of legal rulings in recent weeks and days, their number has been reduced to seven. However, Johnson emphasized that the flight with a Boeing 767, which cost hundreds of thousands of euros, had to leave and depart: it was a matter of principle.

Late Tuesday night, the NGO Care4Calais, which is also responsible for refugee advocacy, reported that all seven remaining tickets had been canceled following rulings by the European Court of Human Rights. At that time, the plane was almost ready to take off from the Boscombe Down military base. The court said such decisions would only be made when those involved were at risk of “irreparable harm”.

For Home Minister Priti Patel, who went to Kigali earlier this year to unveil the plans, the decision was “disappointing and surprising,” she said in parliament on Wednesday. She pointed out that the organizations that submitted to the court against this policy were rejected by the courts. It is true that individual cases were heard by British judges.

“But we won’t be discouraged by the inevitable last-minute pleas,” Patel said. “The preparations for the upcoming flights have already begun.”

human rights

A spokesman for Prime Minister Johnson has been told that the government will first study the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights before making decisions on what to do next. The Strasbourg court had indicated the need to postpone the deportation of the Iraqi citizen until the Supreme Court completed a full judicial review of British policy. This should be clear next month.

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In particular, it will be necessary to check whether refugees in Rwanda have access to fair procedures. After all, the regime in Kigali does not have the best human rights record: there is severe repression of opinions that deviate from official discourse.

Patel noted that the court did not describe the policy as “unlawful” and that the ruling did not mean an “absolute ban”. She further stressed that Rwanda is a “safe country”.

European Convention on Human Rights

There was still strong criticism within Parliament from the Conservative majority: the Strasbourg decision would be an attack on the sovereignty of the United Kingdom. Calls have also been made to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights, which London co-drafted in 1950.

Read also. Will the UK also withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights after Brexit? “That would be dramatic.”

The court also has nothing to do with the European Union, but it is part of the Council of Europe. The United Kingdom is currently a member of this country organization, which has 46 European member states.

The Rwandan regime also announced on Wednesday that it was still ready to receive asylum seekers. Initially, London will pay Kigali 140 million euros for the reception. “Rwanda will do everything in its power to make the cooperation successful,” a government spokesman said. We are ready to receive immigrants as soon as they arrive here. We want to give them security and opportunity.”

Megan Vasquez

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