The British government planned to deport mainly illegal immigrants to Rwanda. The High Court in London has now declared this illegal. Rwanda cannot be trusted to protect migrants from abuse.
The UK Supreme Court has ruled that the government’s controversial plan to deport migrants to Rwanda is illegal.
The five-member jury unanimously upheld the June appeal ruling that cast doubt on the safety of asylum seekers in Rwanda.
The court statement said there was reason to believe that there was a real risk that asylum applications in Rwanda would not be adequately processed. Asylum seekers are thus at risk of being returned to their countries of origin. Moreover, we should not trust Rwanda’s promise not to subject asylum seekers to ill-treatment. The court pointed to the country’s poor human rights record.
The central project of the Sunak government
The United Kingdom signed an agreement with Rwanda in April 2022. According to this, asylum seekers arriving in Great Britain via the English Channel, regardless of their origin, must be sent to the East African country where their asylum applications must be processed.
They will either then be granted asylum there, or they will have to try to remain in Rwanda with a different status or apply in another country.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government said the plan would deter people from risking their lives by crossing the English Channel. It would also help in taking action against smuggling gangs. The plan was a major plan of the Sunak government, but it has not yet been implemented due to complaints against it.
The government said in court that it carefully assessed the risks. She added that she would ensure that the Rwandan government adheres to its commitment to protecting the rights of migrants.
Sunak announces Rwanda new deal
After the legal defeat, Sunak announced a new deal with Rwanda. Sunak said in Parliament in London that his government was already working on the agreement before the court’s decision. He added: “This was not the outcome we had hoped for, but we have spent the last few months planning for all possibilities.”
He stressed the necessity of stopping the boats. “Illegal immigration destroys people’s lives and costs British taxpayers millions of pounds every year. We must stop it and we will do whatever it takes to stop it,” the Prime Minister said in a statement.
Human rights activists: “Triumph of humanity”
Opposition politicians, refugee groups and human rights organizations considered the project immoral and impractical. They celebrated the ruling as a victory for humanity and a defeat for policies that violate human rights.
A joint statement issued by about 130 organizations and groups said that the Rwanda plan was cruel and immoral from the beginning. The government must immediately refrain from such plans, whether with Rwanda or any other country.
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