May 27, 2024

Great Britain: Sunak announces extradition flights to Rwanda – Politics

The law had not yet been passed when British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had already announced its implementation. On Monday, the conservative politician told a press conference that deportation flights to Rwanda would begin in ten to twelve weeks. “No ifs and buts. These flights are going to Rwanda,” Sunak said. Spaces for charter flights have already been booked at one airport, and 500 staff have been trained to take migrants to the East African country. “We're ready. The plans are in place. Whatever happens, these flights will happen.”

The controversial law on the asylum deal with Rwanda has not even passed parliament yet. The British aristocracy repeatedly thwarted the so-called Rwanda Plan. Sunak wants to pass the plan as it is one of the flagship programs of the Conservative government. It plans to send all asylum seekers who come to the UK illegally to Rwanda. Then they should seek asylum there. There are no plans to return to Great Britain. The aim of the regulation was to prevent people from making dangerous journeys across the English Channel in small boats. In return, the African country must receive money from the government in London. The government wants to curb immigration and fulfill one of its key election promises.

This Monday, the British House of Commons is scheduled to debate the asylum package again. The bill is currently stuck in the process between the Lower House and the Upper House, most of which have reservations about it. However, Sunak directed his party's MPs in both houses to sit on Monday.

But even if the lords approve the controversial law, Sunak will face legal opposition. Among others, civil rights groups have announced legal action. Sunak is under pressure as a new parliament is due to be elected in the second half of 2024 and the prime minister has promised to “stop the boats”. In opinion polls, the Conservatives are trailing far behind the Social Democratic Workers Party, which has said it would overturn the Rwanda project if it takes over the government.

Sunak wants to bypass the European Court of Human Rights

Sunak also said he wanted to ignore the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights on the asylum deal with Rwanda. In the past, he has halted deportation flights from Great Britain to Rwanda through an interim order. The Supreme Court of Great Britain later declared the asylum treaty illegal.

UN human rights experts have asked airlines and air traffic officials not to participate in such events. Bringing people to Rwanda or another country may violate their right to be free from torture and other degrading treatment, where they may be forced back into their homeland. “When airlines and aviation authorities implement government decisions that violate human rights, they must be held accountable for their conduct,” the UN special rapporteurs said.

Tens of thousands of migrants have arrived in Britain in recent years, many fleeing wars and poverty in their home countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. They often take the dangerous route through the English Channel in small boats. Often crossed by smuggling gangs. Critics view the deportations as inhumane and complain that Rwanda is not a safe place.

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