“Inhumane and shameful”: outrage in Britain over plan to send undocumented migrants to Rwanda

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Protesters protest in London against the plan to deport undocumented migrants to Rwanda. Photo: REUTERS

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“Grightening” described Prince Charles, the future king of Great Britain. “Inhuman and shameful”, the archbishop of Canterbury and the 23 bishops of the kingdom called him. Neither of them, nor the British Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, have managed to stop the flight of political asylum seekers, who will be expatriated to Rwanda by the British government, while they decide their fate in the kingdom.

The plane waits at Wilshire airport while the judicial appeals of the deportees follow one after the other.

Fewer than 10 migrants are expected to be on Tuesday’s maiden flight to Rwanda as dozens have been turned away after last-minute legal challenges.

The initiative

So far the judges have rejected them because the government agreed to send the migrants back from Uganda if the decision was illegal.

It was the idea of ​​Priti Patel, Minister of the Interior and daughter of Indian immigration, that discouraged migrants, who arrive in small makeshift boats from France to the beaches of the kingdom to seek asylum. According to humanitarian organizations, 80 percent of those arriving have the right to request it.

A plane in which illegal immigrants would be sent to Rwanda from Wiltshire, Great Britain.  Photo: REUTERS

A plane in which illegal immigrants would be sent to Rwanda from Wiltshire, Great Britain. Photo: REUTERS

The British government wants to replace human rights law with a bill of rights, which limits it. But this law will have to confront the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, who is the final referee. So far, Great Britain is still part of it.

The judges of the Court of Appeal rejected one last legal attempt by activists to block the flight inaugural deportation of immigrants to Rwanda.

The Union of Public and Commercial Services and charities Care4Calais and Detention Action have filed an appeal against Friday’s High Court ruling that flying is legal.

They had requested a court order to suspend all flights to Rwanda until the High Court has heard a full judicial review.

Human rights defenders protest in London against undocumented immigration project.  Photo: EFE

Human rights defenders protest in London against undocumented immigration project. Photo: EFE

The arguments of Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson has previously responded to the Prince of Wales’ private criticism of politics, insisting that it is “the government’s job to prevent people from breaking the law.”

The prime minister has repeatedly avoided questions about whether Carlos was wrong in describing the policy as “scary” afterward Times reveal that he has expressed his opposition in private conversations.

However, Johnson insisted that the policy must be implemented to prevent criminal gangs from “putting people’s lives in the Canal at risk.”

“I think it is the government’s job to stop people from breaking the law and to support the people who are doing the right thing. This is what we are doing “, said the premier.

Before Brexitier and when he was Mayor of London, Boris Johnson promised amnesty for all illegal immigrants in the British capital. Nothing stopped them from coming. At least five boats arrived today with migrants who crossed the Channel.

refugees from genocide

The same hotel that hosted the survivors of the Rwandan genocide is preparing to welcome the British deportees. It has a prescient name: Hope Hostel or Hostel Esperanza.

It has 50 rooms with two beds each, shared bathrooms, freshly painted, with security cameras and a set of slippers.


The “Hope Hotel” in Kigali, Rwanda hopes to host the deportees from Great Britain. Photo: AFP

A small restaurant in the garden and an interrogation room are currently under construction.

There is airport security at the reception, with guards and metal detectors. They will also be educated if they want to start a business or train.

Britain has invested $ 145 million over five years to fund the program. The kingdom will pay for the legal, translation, food and health costs. The cost is the same as in Britain: 12,000 pounds per person, according to British MPs. Each flight costs £ 183,000 to Rwanda.

modern slavery

Most of the legal challenges are based on Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which protects the right to family and privacy, while some have claimed to be victims of modern slavery, according to the laws presented . former Prime Minister Theresa May, delaying and potentially preventing the removal of people from the UK.

The charity Care4Calais, which represents some of the migrants facing deportation to Rwanda, said those expected to be on tomorrow’s flight included four Iranians, two Iraqis, two Albanians and one Syrian.

Johnson said on Tuesday he expected “very active lawyers” to try to block the flight. But he confirmed that he would leave even if he brought only one migrant to the African country.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson under attack for his plan against migrants.  Photo: AP

Prime Minister Boris Johnson under attack for his plan against migrants. Photo: AP

“We have always said that we knew this policy would attract attacks from those who want to have a completely open approach to immigration, who want people to be able to cross the Channel without hindrance or impediment.”

harsh criticism of the Church

The senior leadership of the Church of England denounced the flights of migrants from Rwanda as an “immoral policy, which puts Britain to shame”.

A repudiation letter sent to Timessigned by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and the other 23 bishops seated as Lords Spiritual in the House of Lords, it states: “Regardless of whether the first deportation flight leaves Britain today for Rwanda, we should be ashamed of politics. as a nation. “

“The shame is ours, because our Christian heritage should inspire us to treat asylum seekers with compassion, fairness and justice, as we have done for centuries,” Anglican religious leaders wrote.

The letter from the church, signed by Monsignor Justin Welby and Monsignor Stephen Cottrell, as archbishops of Canterbury and York, and also by the bishops of London, Durham, Exeter, Birmingham and Manchester, warns that the deportees have not had the opportunity to appeal. see the family in Britain and said no attempt was made to “understand their situation”.

The Archbishop of Canterbury said Rwanda’s migration policy has embarrassed the UK.

“They are the vulnerable that the Old Testament calls us to value,” adds the letter, explaining that “evil trafficking” must be combated, providing safe routes to the UK to “reduce dangerous travel”.

“But deportations and the possible forced repatriation of asylum seekers to their countries of origin are not the way,” he adds. “This immoral policy puts Britain to shame.”

Ministers believe the chances of the first flight taking migrants to Rwanda to take off today are “very, very slim”, despite the Court of Appeals ruling that it was legal.

In the House of Commons on Monday, Conservative MPs urged ministers to overbook future charter flights to Rwanda to thwart the work of “leftist lawyers” preventing the deportation of their clients.

Clare Mosely, founder of the Care4Calais charity, created to help refugees in northern France and the UK, said: “We are very disappointed with the outcome of the hearing because the evidence was incredibly strong and UNHCR was unequivocal in that Rwanda’s plan was illegal or that Rwanda is a safe country. The plan is brutal and there are other alternatives available, more effective and humane. “

At the British Interior Ministry they went on strike with the expulsion order of Minister Priti Patel and defined the gesture inhumane.

Conservative MPs cheered in the House of Commons when the verdict of the Court of Appeals was published, rejecting the appeal.

Sir Robert Goodwill, a senior Conservative MP and former immigration minister, said persecuted Christians fleeing Iran to the UK would receive a “warm welcome” if redirected to Rwanda.

Rwanda and ethnic genocide

Rwanda is not considered a free country on Freedom House’s annual list, which analyzes respect for human rights and freedoms.

It maintained its political stability after the genocide against the Tutsie ethnic group and has since been led by President Paul Kahage, an authoritarian who restricts civil liberties and ends civil war.

It has repressed political dissent, and there is allegations of torture, intimidation, surveillance and disappearances of political dissidence and suspected murders of dissidents in exile. There are threats to journalists, bloggers and artists in the country.

Opposition leader Paul Rusesabagina, who lived abroad until forced repatriation to Rwanda in 2020, was sentenced in September to 25 years in prison on terrorism charges in an irregular court.

The fear of human rights organizations is that migrants, who arrive in Rwanda and wait in a hostel with shared bathrooms for their cases to be processed, will never return to Britain or return to their countries of origin, remaining in limbo. legal.

Paris, correspondent


Source: Clarin

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