May 21, 2024

Great Britain: Report: London pays asylum seekers to Rwanda

FILE – Great Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (R) and Rwanda's President Paul Kagame sit before their meeting at 10 Downing Street

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Before a controversial plan for mass deportations to Rwanda was implemented, Great Britain forced a rejected asylum seeker to voluntarily leave the East African country in exchange for thousands of pounds. The Sun newspaper reported on Tuesday evening that the man, who hails from an unnamed African country, traveled to Rwanda on a flight scheduled for Monday. There he received an entry fee of around £3,000 (€3,500) from the British Treasury. Government sources confirmed the report to Sky News.

The move is not part of the conservative government's much-criticized plan to deport thousands of asylum seekers who entered irregularly to Rwanda regardless of their origin. Nevertheless, “The Sun” talked about a historical moment that shows that it is possible to deport asylum seekers to a third country. In contrast, the opposition Labor Party criticized it as a PR campaign during the election campaign.

“The Tories are so desperate to send any plane to Rwanda before the local elections that they have now paid someone to fly there,” said Yvette Cooper, Labour's home affairs spokeswoman. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's Conservative Party is in danger of a crushing defeat in the local elections held today in England. Critics see the government's extradition program as a violation of international law. Deportation flights to Rwanda will begin in a few weeks. However, according to the Times, officials do not know the whereabouts of more than 3,500 of the 5,700 originally scheduled for deportation.

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