Verification: How safe is Rwanda for immigrants? | Your Regional DW TV Reception Options in Africa | DW

In recent years thousands of people have crossed the English Channel to Britain in small boats. Their number has risen from 8,000 to nearly 30,000 from 2020 to 2021, and British officials expect it to increase significantly this year.

To prevent people from crossing over, the British government signed an agreement with Rwanda in April that would allow undocumented migrants to be deported to the landlocked East African country, regardless of their origin. There they are told to seek refuge and create new life. To support their integration, London wants to transfer £ 120 million (approximately 4 144 million) to Kigali.

The first deportation flight was scheduled to take place in mid-June, but was last blocked by a European Court of Human Rights decision. But British Home Secretary Priti Patel announced that resettlement plans would continue.

Is Rwanda really safe?

Claim: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised the deal in April, calling Rwanda “one of the safest countries in the world”. It is globally recognized for welcoming and co-ordinating immigrants.

DW Fact Test: Misleading

The country is considered one of the role models of the African continent due to its political and economic stability. However, the US NGO says Independence House, Rwanda suppresses political opponents by “extensive surveillance, intimidation, torture and punishment or killing of deported protesters.” In the ranking of global political liberties, the Freedom House classifies Rwanda as “no liberty”.

At the inquest, DW contributor Abu-Bakr Jallo compiled a list of a dozen politicians, journalists and a dozen politicians and others who have been killed and disappeared in recent years after taking a stand against longtime President Paul Kagame or his ruling Rwandan Patriotic Party front. RPF) is related. Also NGO According to the Human Rights Watch (HRW)Judicial officials in Rwanda will prosecute opposition figures, journalists and other political commentators based on their comments.

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Rwanda is safe for people who openly express their dissatisfaction with the government. Deportees should therefore be careful not to criticize the government or the circumstances of their treatment.

How safe is Rwanda for minorities and vulnerable groups?

The Rwandan Constitution Prohibits discrimination against people on the basis of race, geography or social origin, skin color, gender, social status, religion or language. In 2016, President Kagame said that the LGBTQ population in Rwanda had never been a problem and that his government had no intention of turning it into one. Rwanda has signed a number of agreements and declarations supporting LGBTQ rights.

Nevertheless, the HRW has documented numerous cases of blanket arrests of members of the LGBTQ community – especially before major conferences such as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in June 2021. Talks about HRW reportsAfter that the imprisoned homosexuals or transgender people were beaten and tortured.

In fact, the UK government warns itself Travel advice: “LGBT individuals may experience discrimination and abuse in Rwanda, including local authorities.” There are no specific laws protecting LGBT people from discrimination.

What about the reception culture in Rwanda?

Rwanda has taken many refugees in recent decades, some of them in questionable circumstances.

In 2013, Israel and Rwanda secretly signed an agreement to bring Eritrean and Sudanese refugees to the East African country, which was in effect until 2018. There are indications that Rwanda was opposed to this agreement.

In interviews a Oxford University Study Eritrean immigrants say their passports have been taken away since arriving in Rwanda in 2018. As a result, the study authors write, they were locked up in a secluded hotel. None of them were given the opportunity to apply for asylum. These findings are supported by Report by the Israeli daily Haaretz Since the same year Rwandan authorities denied refugees the right to reside. Without their documents, many of them were frequently arrested and detained. Many later fled to Europe to seek asylum there.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson shake hands in front of the national flag at the 2020 Economic Summit in London

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (right) says he is completely safe under President Paul Kagame (left) in Rwanda.

Subsequently, Rwanda agreed to accept large numbers of refugees from Libyan prisons as part of an agreement between the United Nations (UN) and the African Union. The project is under the direct supervision of the UN, from where people are to be taken to third countries. So far, there have been no complaints of mistreatment or worsening conditions in the shelters from this program.

Translated from English by John de Walter

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