Exporting people seeking asylum – Rwanda

Updated 10 October 2023: Human Rights Watch: UK: Abandon Rwanda Asylum Transfer Plan

New Report Documents Rwanda’s Global Targeting of Rwandan Refugees, Critics

  • Rwandan authorities and their proxies are using violence, judicial mechanisms, and intimidation to try to silence criticism from Rwandans living around the world.
  • Rwanda’s targeting of Rwandans abroad, including in the UK, underlines Rwanda’s contempt for human rights norms enshrined in the international protection system.
  • The UK should abandon its asylum transfer deal with Rwanda and take action to enhance the protection of Rwandan residents and refugees in the UK.

(London) – Rwandan authorities and their proxies are using violence, judicial mechanisms, and intimidation to try to silence criticism from Rwandans living around the world, Human Rights Watch said in a report published today. The abuses, which have fostered a climate of fear and self-censorship, are being brought to light as the United Kingdom government is at the Supreme Court appealing the judgment that its plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda is unlawful.

In the 115-page report, “‘Join Us or Die’: Rwanda’s Extraterritorial Repression,” Human Rights Watch documents a wide array of tactics that, when used together, form a global ecosystem of repression aimed at muzzling dissenting voices and intimidating actual, perceived, or potential critics, including Rwandans who have sought international protection. The combination of physical violence, including killings and enforced disappearances, surveillance, misuse of law enforcement – both domestic and international – abuses against relatives in Rwanda, and damaging people’s reputation through online harassment constitute clear efforts to isolate potential critics.

“The Human Rights Watch findings highlight that Rwanda is not a country the UK should rely upon to uphold international standards or the rule of law when it comes to asylum seekers,” said Yasmine Ahmed, UK director for Human Rights Watch. “The British government’s plan is doing untold damage to the UK’s international reputation as a country that claims to stand up for human rights.”

In April 2022, the UK and Rwandan governments announced the signing of a new Asylum Partnership Arrangement, under which the UK plans to expel to Rwanda people seeking asylum in the UK. The UK Court of Appeal in June found the asylum deal unlawful because asylum seekers sent to Rwanda risk being sent back to their home countries, where they may face mistreatment.

Human Rights Watch found that Rwandans living in the UK, who had been warned about threats against them, have had to take extreme measures for their security. Some people interviewed, including in the UK, said that their relatives in Rwanda had been pressured to silence the exiled relatives’ criticism. Several Rwandans asked Human Rights Watch not to reveal their identity, and some expressed concern that the UK-Rwanda Asylum Partnership Arrangement would mean that their safety may no longer be a priority for the UK government.

Read more: https://www.hrw.org/news/2023/10/10/uk-abandon-rwanda-asylum-transfer-plan

‘Join is or die’: Rwanda’s Extraterritorial Repression:

When a Rwandan journalist living in London, United Kingdom, sat down on a bench in a public park, in August 2022, the first thing he said, after nervous introductions, was: “My wife didn’t want me to come. We have to be careful.” His eyes darting around to check if anyone was eavesdropping, he explains how some of his relatives in Rwanda are under surveillance and have been marginalized because of his work. In London, he lives afraid and isolated, and has suffered from panic attacks and depression. He has a flak jacket and security cameras at home. “I’ve stopped attending any gatherings of Rwandans. I never invite Rwandans around to my house anymore. But now, I am attacked online,” he said.[1]

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) have often been credited with rebuilding a country left almost entirely destroyed after the 1994 genocide. As this report will show, however, the RPF, since it came to power in 1994, has also responded forcefully and often violently to criticism, deploying a range of measures to deal with real or suspected opponents, including extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture, political prosecutions, and unlawful detention, as well as threats, intimidation, harassment, and physical surveillance. Such measures are not limited to critics and opponents within the country.

The control, surveillance, and intimidation of Rwandan refugee and diaspora communities and others abroad can be attributed in part to the authorities’ desire to quash dissent and maintain control. By refusing to return to Rwanda and through their ability to criticize the Rwandan authorities from exile, refugees and asylum seekers also inherently challenge the image the authorities seek to project—one of a country from which people do not flee.

For this report, Human Rights Watch interviewed over 150 people in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, the United States, Uganda, Zambia, and others related to them in Rwanda, to investigate the tactics used by the Rwandan government and its proxies to target Rwandans abroad.

The research found that the authorities have created an environment where many Rwandans abroad, even those living thousands of miles away from Rwanda, practice self-censorship, refrain from engaging in legitimate political activism, and live in fear of traveling, being attacked, or seeing their relatives in Rwanda targeted.

In this report, Human Rights Watch documented over a dozen cases of killings, kidnappings and attempted kidnappings, enforced disappearances, and physical attacks targeting Rwandans living abroad.

The report also finds that the Rwandan government has sought to use global police cooperation, including Interpol Red Notices, judicial mechanisms, and extradition requests to seek deportations of critics or dissidents back to Rwanda.

In many cases, interviewees’ relatives in Rwanda have themselves been targets of arbitrary detention, torture, suspected assassinations, harassment, and restrictions on movements to exert pressure on their family members abroad to stop their activism. This has effectively reduced many to silence. For example, one interviewee, who said his relative was tortured in a safe house in Rwanda for eight months because of his political activism in exile, told Human Rights Watch: “If you publish my name, they will kill him.” [2]

Some of the cases detailed in this report expose the extraordinary lengths to which the government of Rwanda is willing to go, and the means at its disposal, to attack its opponents. The combination of physical violence, surveillance, misuse of law enforcement—both domestic and international—, abuses against relatives in Rwanda, and the reputational damage done through online harassment points to clear efforts to isolate the individuals socially and diminish their financial and professional prospects in their host country. The cases also illustrate the relentless nature of the attacks: multiple tactics are often used simultaneously and, if one fails, others will be used until the person they are targeting is worn down.

As Rwanda has grown more prominent on the international stage, leading multilateral institutions, and becoming one of the continent’s largest peacekeeping troop contributors, the United Nations and international partners have consistently failed to recognize the scope and severity of the country’s dismal human rights record.

Read more: https://www.hrw.org/report/2023/10/10/join-us-or-die/rwandas-extraterritorial-repression

5 October 2023: See Guardian: Incoherence and inconsistency’: the inside story of the Rwanda deportation plan

30 September 2023: Led by Donkeys video: Undercover on the government’s Rwanda plan

For the past three months, Led by Donkeys has been investigating the government’s plan to forcibly send asylum seekers to Rwanda, a cornerstone of the Prime Minister’s “Stop The Boats” policy. And a dream of the home secretary Suella Braverman.


Guardian commentary: Rwanda ambassador: Suella Braverman ‘absolutely wrong’ on immigration

The home secretary faces embarrassment after a covert sting operation filmed criticism of UK policy by a top official


19 September 2023: Women & Equalities Committee: Children still at risk of detention and removal to Rwanda

The Government has refused to rule out the detention and removal of children to Rwanda, after facing pressure from a cross-party committee of MPs to abandon any intention to do so.

The Home Office’s response to the Women and Equalities Committee’s report on Equality and the UK asylum process, published today, also rejects the Committee’s conclusion that the asylum system creates unnecessary harmful risks to the most vulnerable asylum seekers.

The Committee’s report urged the Government to set out plans to mitigate the risks of harm to asylum seekers with protected characteristics, including women who have experienced sexual and gender-based violence, LGBT people, children and disabled people. After its in-depth inquiry, the Committee found that risks of harm to vulnerable groups are likely to be exacerbated by the Nationality and Borders Act and Illegal Migration Act.,

Instead, the Government has defended its approach, including moving pregnant women, new mothers and babies between asylum accommodation settings, sometimes without clinical advice. The Home Office has also ignored MPs’ plea for more data on the treatment of pregnant women and new mothers in the asylum system.

Responding to the Committee’s recommendation to increase financial support for asylum seekers, including an additional uplift for women to help address period poverty, the Government has defended existing provisions. The Government has refused to link asylum support to annually uprated mainstream benefits, to ensure that payments for essentials keep up with cost-of-living inflation.

Chair’s comment

Women and Equalities Committee Chair, Caroline Nokes MP, said:

Read more here: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/328/women-and-equalities-committee/news/197494/children-still-at-risk-of-detention-and-removal-to-rwanda/

Updated 1 July 2023: BBC: Rwanda asylum a risk to UK foreign policy, says ex-minister

The government’s deal to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda risks “downgrading” UK foreign policy, a former cabinet minister has said.

A final report by a United Nations Group of Experts, published earlier this month, concluded that the Rwandans were supporting the M23 rebel group which is active in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and is subject to UN and US sanctions.

Justine Greening withdrew £21m in aid funding to the country in 2012 when she was international development secretary after the United Nations first reported that the Rwandans were helping the M23 rebels.

While the US and EU have directly told the Rwandan government to cease its support for M23, a UK regional envoy released a more general statement condemning “external” support for rebels without naming Rwanda.

Rwanda has consistently denied supporting the rebellion.

Ms Greening told BBC Newsnight: “It’s important that UK foreign policy and this country’s leadership on important matters of human rights atrocities including violence against women is not downgraded as a result of our domestic policy approaches.

“This UN report also underlines the practical complexity and sustainability issues of intertwining the delivery of Britain’s asylum policy with any third country, particularly one facing such demonstrable wider regional stability challenges,” she said.

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-66073718

Updated 29 June 2023: Judgement of the Court of Appeal: IN THE COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION) ON APPEAL FROM THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE [2022] EWHC 3230 (Admin)

You can read the judgement yourself here: https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/AAA-v-SSHD-judgment-290623.pdf

Garden Court Chambers: Rwanda Judgment: Court of Appeal rules government plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda is unlawful

The Court of Appeal has handed down judgment in a number of linked judicial review claims that challenged Home Office decisions to remove asylum seekers in the UK to Rwanda, in order for their asylum claims to be processed there, rather than in the UK.

The majority of the Court allowed the appeal on the single issue of the safety of Rwanda. It found that there are shortcomings in the asylum system in Rwanda which means that removing asylum seekers there would be in breach of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights – the prohibition on torture and inhuman or degrading treatment.

There were a number of other grounds of appeal relating to the operation of EU law and data protection legislation which the Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed. Applications for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court are due on 6 July 2023.

Applications for permission to appeal against the judgment, to the Court of Appeal, were heard on 16 January 2023. Permission to appeal was initially granted on various grounds to a number of the claimants. The grounds included whether the Divisional Court properly assessed the reliability of assurances given by the Rwandan government to respect the human rights of those removed; whether removal to Rwanda would breach the Refugee Convention; and whether the decision making process adopted by the Home Secretary was procedurally unfair.

Judgment available to read here. Watch the handing down of the judgment in the Court of Appeal here.

Sonali Naik KCAdrian BerryMark SymesEva Doerr and Isaac Ricca-Richardson represent AS (Iran) instructed by Paul Turner and Iain Palmer of Barnes Harrild & Dyer. 

David Sellwood was part of the team representing RM (Iran), instructed by Daniel Merriman and Tim Davies of Wilsons Solicitors. 

Guardian: Braverman plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda unlawful, appeal court rules

[extract] Ten asylum seekers from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Vietnam, Sudan and Albania who arrived in the UK via irregular means crossing the Channel in small boats brought the case along with the charity Asylum Aid.

The key issue before the court was whether Rwanda was capable of delivering reliable outcomes on asylum claims and whether there was a risk that asylum seekers would be forcibly removed to their home countries after arriving in Rwanda even if they had strong asylum claims.

The judges found that sending asylum seekers to Rwanda would be a breach of article 3 of the European convention on human rights.


[SNN Signatory] Migrant Voice: Rwanda verdict: One step closer to restoring humanity

The Court of Appeals ruling is a welcome win against this government’s inhumane and abhorrent plan to forcibly remove asylum seekers to Rwanda. We must remain vigilant, however, against this government’s attempts to continue to push it through. For now though, this will come as a relief to so many people who have been left in limbo, and facing even more trauma, on top of that which they have already gone through, while waiting to find out what might happen to them.

From the outset the Rwanda plan has clearly been immoral. Indeed outsourcing our responsibility to any other country is immoral. Rwanda is a country which this government’s own advisors, along with experts from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and countless other organisations, has warned is unsafe for refugees. Only a few years back more than a dozen refugees were shot and killed by state forces for protesting to get enough food to survive. Rampant human rights abuses have been recorded, and even forced conscription of refugees into the Rwanda armed forces.

At its heart though, the Rwanda policy is just one of many which this government is attempting to enact to avoid its own responsibility to protect some of the most vulnerable people. There has never been a good answer as to why a country the size of Wales, and already one of the poorest and most densely populated in the world, would be better able to process asylum applications than one of the wealthiest. It would not matter if it could though. Already 86% of refugees are in countries neighbouring those they have fled. The UK takes a tiny fraction of those seeking asylum, and those who do come here tend to do so because they have existing ties to the country and our share our values.

We need policies of protection. If this government is serious about “tackling gangs” then the answer is to ensure that it is safer and simpler for people to seek asylum in the UK, and that their applications are processed faster and more effectively. Sending people to other countries doesn’t break the ties which initially caused them to seek asylum in the UK. What it does do is making them an easier target for the very gangs this government claims it wants to tackle.

For today we can celebrate the fact that the Court of Appeal has seen through the spin and reached verdict which should have always been clear, that the Rwanda policy is illegal and immoral. For tomorrow we need to ensure that we work to ensure all those seeking safety can do so in the knowledge that they will find it.


BBC: What did the Court of Appeal ruling say?

  • Campaigners and asylum seekers have won a Court of Appeal challenge against the UK government’s planned Rwanda deportation scheme
  • The Court of Appeal overturns a High Court ruling that said in December the east African nation could be considered a “safe third country”
  • The decision was announced by the Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett during a short hearing in London
  • The decision of the majority of judges was that, due to “deficiencies” in the Rwandan asylum system there are substantial grounds for believing that there is a real risk that persons sent to Rwanda will be returned to their home countries, where they were fleeing from
  • Until those deficiencies are corrected, removal of asylum seekers will be unlawful, the court ruled
  • The appellants, charity Asylum Aid and ten asylum seekers, argued there were substantial grounds for believing there is a real risk that any persons sent to Rwanda will be removed to their home country

Not a decision on the political merits of the policy – court

Here are more of Lord Burnett’s remarks:

“The result is that the High Court’s decision that Rwanda was a safe third country is reversed – and that unless and until the deficiencies in its asylum processes are corrected removal of asylum-seekers to Rwanda will be unlawful.

“Finally, the Court of Appeal makes clear that its decision implies no view whatever about the political merits or otherwise of the Rwanda policy.

“Those are entirely a matter for the government, on which the court has nothing to say.

“The court’s concern is only whether the policy complies with the law as laid down by Parliament.”

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-66045323

Independent: Suella Braverman’s plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda ruled unlawful by Court of Appeal

The outgoing Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett, said: “The High Court’s decision that Rwanda is a safe third country is reversed. Unless and until the deficiencies in its asylum processes are corrected, removal of asylum seekers to Rwanda will be unlawful.”

He said the decision “implies no view whatever about the political merits or otherwise of the Rwanda policy”, which has already seen Kigali paid £140m and the government spend more than £1m on legal costs.

Judges found that ministers were wrong to rely on unevidenced assurances from Rwanda that “seriously deficient” processes would be improved. They found that:

  • the Home Office ignored “the past and the present situation” in favour of promises by Rwanda
  • it failed to probe the disappearance and death of migrants sent to Rwanda under a previous deal with Israel, and a mass shooting of refugees by police during a 2018 protest
  • the government responded to damning evidence from the UN Refugee Agency with statements dependent on information from the Rwandan government
  • Home Office officials “were too ready to accept assurances which were unevidenced”
  • Rwanda does not have systems in place to legally and safely process asylum seekers from the UK

The Rwanda plan is a core part of the prime minister’s pledge to stop small boat crossings, and an important pillar of the new Illegal Migration Bill, which aims to see all small boat migrants detained and deported without asylum claims being considered.

Read more: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/rwanda-judgment-ruling-court-appeal-migration-b2366343.html

4 June 2023: Guardian: The EU pays Africa’s brutal militias to lock up migrants. Britain wants to follow suit

Torture, rape and death are the results of a policy to keep desperate people away from Europe

‘Please help, today one person self dead by petrol because hopeless.” Sally Hayden received the text in October 2018. The Irish Times journalist was one of the few outsiders trusted by refugees locked up in Libya. The text was about Abdulaziz, who had been forced to flee his native Somalia to escape al-Shabaab, the al-Qaida-linked Islamist group waging terror in east Africa.

After a perilous journey across the desert, Abdulaziz was locked up in Triq al-Sikka, a grim prison in Tripoli, Libya. Why? Because the EU pays Libyan militias millions of euros to detain anyone deemed a possible migrant to Europe. Like many other similar prisons across Libya, Triq al-Sikka is a place of hunger, disease, beatings, rape, torture and death. Death by starvation, death by beatings, death by execution. And death by suicide.

Read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/jun/04/eu-pays-africas-brutal-militias-to-lock-up-migrants-britain-wants-to-follow-suit

Updated 2 April 2023: BBC: A lot to unpack from that interview – Laura Kuenssberg

Presenter, Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg

It was the first time the home secretary had come into our studio live and there was plenty to talk about – and plenty of headlines from what she had to say.

First off, Suella Braverman was resolutely determined to defend her plans to send migrants to Rwanda, saying repeatedly that in her view it is, contrary to the United Nations’ view, a safe country for refugees.

There’s no question that there’s public desire to stop the terrible trade of people trafficking across the Channel. Many governments, not just the UK, are grappling with what to do. But there are plenty of practical and political problems about the home secretary’s approach, and huge jeopardy in her and the prime minster’s slogan to “stop the boats”.

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-politics-65136202

Updated 14 March 2023: Guardian: Asylum seekers win permission to challenge UK’s Rwanda policy

Ten people from conflict zones threatened with removal to Africa claim there has been a failure to consider risks of deportation

A court of appeal judge has ruled that a group of asylum seekers can bring a legal challenge against the Home Office for what they claim has been a failure to consider the dangers and risks of deporting them to Rwanda.

Lord Justice Underhill, the vice-president of the court of appeal’s civil division, has granted permission for the group to appeal against the government’s controversial policy on some grounds.

Ten asylum seekers from a range of conflict zones including Iran, Iraq and Syria are involved in the legal challenge. They have all been threatened with removal to Rwanda.

[…] A full appeal hearing about the lawfulness of the Rwanda policy will take place from 24-27 April.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/mar/14/asylum-seekers-win-permission-for-rwanda-policy-legal-challenge

Updated 17 January 2023: Free Movement: High Court gives green light to appeals in Rwanda challenges

Page contents

On 16 January 2023 there was a High Court hearing to deal with all matters following on from its ruling published on 19 December 2022. You can you can read more about the case and its implications here and here. You can find a full copy of the judgment here, and a summary here.

The various claims in this case were heard on a ‘rolled up’ basis. This means that permission to apply for judicial review and the substantive merits of the grounds were considered at the same time. Permission was granted on all of the grounds advanced by individual asylum seekers and Asylum Aid.

Permission was refused to three organisations: the Public and Commercial Services Union, Detention Action and Care4Calais. The Public and Commercial Services Union was found to lack “associational standing” and the latter two organisations were refused permission to apply for judicial review because they did not have “surrogate standing”. The court held that individuals were better placed to bring the claims.

Permission to appeal

There were six separate legal teams at the September and October 2022 hearings and the court’s decisions on permission had the effect of eliminating two of them (SAA and AB). The grounds granted permission to go to the Court of Appeal are described below.

Read more: https://freemovement.org.uk/high-court-gives-green-light-to-appeals-in-rwanda-challenges/

See also: PCS Union:

Following today’s news that asylum seekers and a charity have been granted permission to appeal the High Court’s finding that the government’s #Rwanda asylum deal is lawful, PCS has confirmed it is still considering an appeal. www.pcs.org.uk/rwandacost

Care4Calais:  We are disappointed we were not given permission to appeal yesterday but we are discussing options for a further appeal with our lawyers.

Guardian: Judges allow partial appeal against Rwanda asylum seeker ruling

The two judges previously found the Home Office’s plan to be lawful and rejected some grounds for appeal

Two judges who ruled that the Home Office’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda to have their cases processed was lawful have granted permission for parts of their decision to be challenged at the court of appeal.

The ruling in the high court on Monday was welcomed by those challenging the judgment of Lord Justice Lewis and Mr Justice Swift last month.

Read more: https://theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/jan/16/rwanda-asylum-seeker-policy-can-be-appealed-says-high-court-home-office

Updated 13 January 2023: Human Rights Watch: World Report 2023: Our Annual Review Of Human Rights Around The Globe [Extract] Rwanda: Refugees and Asylum Seekers

In April, the United Kingdom and Rwandan governments announced the signing of a new Asylum Partnership Agreement, under which the UK plans to expel to Rwanda people seeking asylum in the UK through “irregular” routes. Under the agreement, asylum seekers sent to Rwanda would be processed under Rwanda’s asylum system and, if recognized as refugees, granted refugee status there, with Rwanda otherwise handling rejected claims. The plan, which is an abrogation of the UK’s international responsibilities and obligations to asylum seekers and refugees, was challenged in a UK court.

Attacks and threats by Rwandan government agents or their proxies on Rwandan refugees living abroad, including in Uganda, Mozambique, South Africa, and Kenya, continued. The victims have tended to be political opponents or critics of the Rwandan government or of President Paul Kagame. In his September 2022 annual report, the UN Secretary-General highlighted the case of harassment and threats against Noël Zihabamwe, a Rwandan refugee living in Australia, and persons in Rwanda associated with him, following his engagement with the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances.


Care4Calais · The High Court has ruled against our #StopRwanda legal challenge (although individual claimants will not be deported).

This is only the first court judgement. We remain steadfast in our opposition to the brutal Rwanda policy and in our determination to ensure that no human is forcibly deported to the country. The fight against the Rwanda policy continues, and costs are rising so we need your help. To support the campaign go to https://www.crowdjustice.com/…/c4c-challenge-shameful…/

25 December 2022: Following the ruling on Monday, those of us who support refugees want to know what is going to happen now.

Let’s start by looking at the decisions in respect of the eight individual claimants. The court ruled that decisions made by the Home Office on inadmissibility and removal in respect of six of the individuals were flawed and should be overturned.  They also ruled that decisions made with regard to the human rights of seven of the individuals should be overturned.  This means that decisions of the Home Office made with respect to all of the individuals have been quashed, and suggests that if the Government wants to actually go ahead and remove anyone they may have a difficult path ahead.  

The judges said that for every person the Home Office considers sending to Rwanda they must consider (1) whether there is anything about their particular circumstances which means that their asylum claim should be determined in the UK and (2) whether there are any other reasons why they should not be relocated to Rwanda.
The judgment provides many details of where the judges consider that the Home Office made errors and/or failed to apply the policy in a sufficiently robust and reasoned manner to the individual circumstances of each case.  What this means is that if any individuals are issued with removal notices for Rwanda they should certainly consider any challenge as there seem to be serious questions over the Home Office’s resources and administrative capability to properly implement this policy. 

Right now our immediate worry is that the publicity following the judgement, and the framing of it as a ‘big win’ by the Government, will scare asylum seekers who are now in the UK. Please help us to reassure as many as possible that, for the reasons stated above, imminent removals are not expected. People panicking and absconding, or worse attempting suicide, have already been casualties of this policy and sadly are now a real risk again.  
If any asylum seeker receives a letter from the Home Office that mentions Rwanda please refer them to us for links to copies of our translated Rwanda leaflets.  We will help them find lawyers and be ready to challenge any inadmissibility decision and removal. 
Further reassurance can be given to asylum seekers that last time the Government tried to organise a flight, as part of stopping it, an ‘interim measure’ was issued by the European Court of Human Rights which makes it very difficult for the Government to deport anyone until three weeks after the final decision by a UK court on this matter. 
Our current case has been adjourned until 16 January.  At that point we and the other claimants will discuss with our lawyers whether appeals can be made on the generic grounds, i.e the parts that apply to everyone. If appeals can be made on generic grounds by any of the claimants, the ECHR ruling ought to stand until three weeks after the final decision by highest UK court that hears the case.  
Generic grounds – safety 
The court had to decide whether the Home Secretary’s decision that Rwanda is safe was reasonable and had taken into account a thorough evaluation of the available evidence.  
UNHCR provided significant evidence that refugees have previously not been safe in Rwanda and that Rwanda’s asylum system is inadequate.  The Home Office disregarded this and relied on the (non legally binding) MOU agreement between the UK and Rwanda in which Rwanda promises things will be different in relation to individuals transferred under this agreement. The court broadly found that, as no one has yet been deported to Rwanda under the agreement there is no evidence that Rwanda will break the promises in the MOU. 
Evidence was presented regarding refugees in Rwanda who took part in riots over food shortages in 2018 that were suppressed by police who fired on demonstrators, some of whom were killed.  The court concluded that any refugees transferred to Rwanda by the UK would be treated differently because they would be protected by the promises made in the MOU, and so no similar protests should arise.  
The judges appeared to reject the suggestion that the past behaviour of the Rwandan authorities is an indicator of their future behaviour.  They seem to expect an MOU bubble to surround any UK-transferred refugees that will keep them separate to what happens generally to other asylum-seekers in Rwanda.
Generic grounds – Refugee Convention Article 31 
The Refugee Convention says that penalties should not be imposed on refugees because they enter a country illegally, subject to conditions being met.  But the Government says it wants to deter refugees from entering the UK illegally by sending them to Rwanda. So this must be against the Refugee Convention, right? 
The Government’s lawyers presented evidence that when Article 31 was drafted it was not intended to stop a country from deporting a refugee to another country, as long as that other country is safe. So this point is now tied in to the above point where the Home Secretary has – lawfully in the opinion of the court – concluded that Rwanda is safe.  As long as Rwanda is safe, Article 31 should not prohibit refugees being sent there.  But isn’t there a contradiction? Being sent to Rwanda is even more frightening than the very real risk of drowning in the Channel.  But Rwanda is safe. 
Generic grounds – Refugee Convention Article 33 
A country should not send a refugee to another country where his life will be under threat, either directly (in Rwanda) or indirectly, if Rwanda send him on to somewhere he might be under threat. 
As part of the Home Secretary’s decision that Rwanda is a safe country she had determined that refugees sent there by the UK (if not other refugees) will be safe and will not be sent on to places where they will be at risk, so the judges rejected this ground.
We now need to wait for our lawyers to determine whether, to what extent and by whom, any of the above may be challenged. 
If at the end of the day any asylum seekers are sent to Rwanda, it is likely they will be few.  As we know the incredible trauma it will cause to them and their families, we pray it will be none.  What we do know is that this brutal plan will not stop people from crossing the Channel and, while thousands of hours and millions of pounds are wasted on it, it is likely more people will die making the crossing. 
Read and share our Safe Passage report

Updated 22 December 2022: Quaker Quake: Paul Parker, Recording Clerk of Quakers in Britain, observed: “Just because a policy is lawful does not mean it is moral. 

Every person who arrives on Britain’s shores is a fellow human-being imbued with a divine spark. This disappointing judgment changes nothing. There still needs to be safe routes to Britain for people in need of sanctuary, and compassionate treatment for those who make the journey. This is what love requires.”


Updated 20 December 2022: Guardian: I’m a former refugee and a proud Tory – the inhumane Rwanda plan will only damage the party

Twenty years ago, the UK gave my Afghan family a second chance. Those trying to get here today face a very different reality

I arrived in the UK with my family 23 years ago, when I was eight. My parents, baby brother, younger sister and I arrived in the back of a lorry, having endured a perilous and frightening journey fleeing the terror of Afghanistan’s Taliban.

Back then, like now, there were no official or safe ways for us to get here. When the UK Border Agency opened the doors of the lorry, we had lost consciousness due to lack of air. But they offered us medical attention and care, and a bed for the night. The next day, we went straight to the Refugee Council, who helped us find a place of shelter. There were five of us in a one-bedroom flat, but we felt lucky to have a home after enduring Taliban rulein Afghanistan, where as a girl I would not have had the opportunity to go to school or enjoy the freedoms I have today. We sought refuge here because both my parents were academics and my father was a political activist. Had we remained in Afghanistan, it is safe to say the Taliban would have targeted us and we may not have been alive today. Britain gave us a second chance in life, and for that we are eternally grateful.

To get here, our only option was to hide in a vehicle to cross the border. Now, many people’s only option is to take a chance on a small boat to cross the Channel. When we arrived in Dover, we received support. Now, we would be regarded as criminals who came here illegally. And, thanks to a court ruling this week, if we had arrived today, after risking everything to get to a country where we could rebuild our lives, we could be sent thousands of miles away to Rwanda – a country where we had no family, and would not be able to speak the language. We would have had no opportunity to have our case for protection heard fairly here in the UK. And even if an application for refugee status in Rwanda was successful, we would have had no way to return.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/dec/20/refugee-tory-rwanda-plan-afghan-family

Updated 19 December 2022: Care4Calais · The High Court has ruled against our #StopRwanda legal challenge (although individual claimants will not be deported).

This is only the first court judgement. We remain steadfast in our opposition to the brutal Rwanda policy and in our determination to ensure that no human is forcibly deported to the country. The fight against the Rwanda policy continues, and costs are rising so we need your help. To support the campaign go to https://www.crowdjustice.com/…/c4c-challenge-shameful…/

Information from IMIX and Detention Action re Rwanda:

This is the way the judgement has gone;

A loss on the generic grounds but a win on any of the grounds brought by the individual claimants (people seeking asylum targeted by the policy). This would be a qualified win: It would not prevent the policy from being enacted, but would prevent that individual or individuals from being removed to Rwanda. It may also set a useful precedent for other individuals targeted by the policy, but to do so would require individuals targeted by the policy to access legal representation and bring individual judicial reviews against their removal. This could be challenging if the Home Secretary moves quickly to carry out a removal flight.

With specifics from the court release;

The court has concluded that, it is lawful for the government to make arrangements for relocating asylum seekers to Rwanda and for their asylum claims to be determined in Rwanda rather than in the United Kingdom. On the evidence before this court, the government has made arrangements with the government of Rwanda which are intended to ensure that the asylum claims of people relocated to Rwanda are properly determined in Rwanda. In those circumstances, the relocation of asylum seekers to Rwanda is consistent with the Refugee Convention and with the statutory and other legal obligations on the government including the obligations imposed by the Human Rights Act 1998.

However, the Home Secretary must consider properly the circumstances of each individual claimant. The Home Secretary must decide if there is anything about each person’s particular circumstances which means that his asylum claim should be determined in the United Kingdom or whether there are other reasons why he should not be relocated to Rwanda. The Home Secretary has not properly considered the circumstances of the eight individual claimants whose cases we have considered. For that reason, the decisions in those cases will be set aside and their cases will be referred back to the Home Secretary for her to consider afresh.

This is the messaging from Detention Action

The internal opposition to the UK-Rwanda deal in the months running up to its announcement, including consistent advice by Home Office and Foreign Office officials, as well as the UK High Commissioner to Rwanda, that Rwanda is not suitable for such a partnership on the basis of its government’s appalling human rights record.

The consistent advice from the UNHCR that Rwanda is unsuitable for such a partnership due to its government’s human rights record and the fact that its asylum processing system is not fit for purpose and carries a significant risk of returning refugees to danger.

The lack of what we consider to be appropriate research by the Home Office into these issues ahead of the deal being announced.

The details of the “Independent” Monitoring Committee established by the UK and Rwandan Governments to oversee the operation of the policy, which is made up of officials appointed by those governments, almost all of whom lack relevant legal expertise and have either strong ties to the UK and Rwandan governments or have documented track records opposing the rights of people to seek asylum.

Detention Action on Facebook: We are disappointed at this morning’s High Court ruling on the lawfulness of the UK-Rwanda deal. However, the courts have found that the Home Secretary acted unlawfully in her treatment of eight individuals targeted by the policy and must reconsider their removal.

Together, we will continue to oppose this policy and will discuss with our legal team our next steps and the possibility of an appeal. Thank you to all who have supported our challenge for standing with the men, women and children seeking asylum in our communities.

Regardless of this initial outcome, the fact remains that this Government have made a dangerous deal to put men, women and children in the hands of an authoritarian regime that tortures, intimidates and even murders its opponents, while suppressing free speech and media and carrying out extensive surveillance on its citizens.

This morning, our Deputy Director, James Wilson, spoke to media outside the High Court following the judgement.

England and Wales High Court (Administrative Court) Decision re: Rwanda: AAA v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Rwanda) [2022] EWHC 3230 (Admin) (19 December 2022)

This judgment concerns claims for judicial review brought by several individuals and organisations who challenge the decisions of the Home Secretary that asylum claims made in the United Kingdom should not be decided here but, instead, the persons who made the claim should be relocated to Rwanda and their asylum claims determined in that country in accordance with arrangements made between the governments of the United Kingdom and Rwanda. The individuals who are claimants in these proceedings travelled in small boats from France to England and claimed asylum on their arrival in the United Kingdom. They contend that the arrangements made by the Home Secretary to relocate asylum seekers to Rwanda are unlawful. They also contend that the Home Secretary did not consider their circumstances properly.


F. Disposal

  1. All claims came before us as rolled-up hearings. We have heard full argument on them,
    and we grant permission to apply for judicial review on all grounds of the claims for
    all Claimants, save (a) where particular grounds in relation to particular Claimants
    have been stayed) and (b) where we have concluded that Claimants lack standing to
    pursue claims for judicial review (i.e., the PCSU, Detention Action, and Care4 Calais,
    all in CO/2032/2022).
  2. The inadmissibility and removal decisions were not unlawful by reason of any of the
    generic grounds of challenge or by the general claims of procedural unfairness (i.e.,
    the matters considered at Sections B and D of this judgment).
  3. However, the way in which the Home Secretary went about the implementation of her
    policy in a number of the individual cases before us, was flawed. For the reasons
    above, primarily in Section C of this judgment, the following decisions (specifically
    identified in section C above) taken in relation to the following individual Claimants
    were flawed and will be quashed:
    (1) AAA (CO/2032/2022), the decisions on inadmissibility and removal, and
    the human rights decision;
    (2) AHA (CO/2032/2022), the decisions on inadmissibility and removal;
    (3) AT (CO/2032/2022), the decisions on inadmissibility and removal, and the
    human rights decision;
    (4) AAM (CO/2032/2022), the decisions on inadmissibility and removal, and
    the human rights decision;
    (5) NSK (CO/2032/2022), the decisions on inadmissibility and removal, and the
    human rights decision;
    (6) HTN (CO/2104/2022), the decisions on inadmissibility and removal, and
    the human rights decision;
    (7) RM (CO/2077/2022), the human rights decision; and
    (8) AS (CO/2098/2022), the human rights decision.
    To this extent (only) the claims for judicial review succeed. If the Home Secretary
    wishes to apply her policy to any of these Claimants, she must first reconsider the
    decisions in all these cases.


Updated 18 December 2022: Care4Calais:  Tomorrow morning we will be back in court to hear the ruling on our challenge to the Governments brutal Rwanda plan.

Along with PCS Union and Detention Action we will attend to hear the judgement read out in court. Please join us outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London from 9am to 10.30 to show the Government that people in this country oppose this cruel and unjust policy.

Refugees will not be safe in Rwanda and sending them there will breach our countries obligations under international treaties. We hope the court will agree and tomorrow rule that the plan is unlawful.


Details 👉🏿fb.me/e/2x4EFYiwQ


MON 19 DEC at ROYAL COURTS OF JUSTICE, the Strand from 8.45am to 10am

The government’s vicious and unpopular policy to deport refugees to offshore detention in Rwanda has faced legal challenges led by the PCS union, Care4Calais and others, and led to waves of protest that halted the first planned flight deporting refugees to Rwanda in June this year, and put hundreds outside the court as the legal challenge was heard in September this year, with hundreds joining protests all over Britain. The #StopRwanda offshoring campaign got the demand trending on Twitter twice and garnered wide support from celebrities to politicians, the trade union movement and across the refugee sector. The court is now, finally, set to deliberate on the legal challenge to the government’s Rwanda offshore detention plans. The #StopRwanda campaign, led by Stand Up To Racism, Care4Calais and TUC is asking anyone who can to stand outside the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand this Monday 19 December, between 9am and 10am.

5 December 2022: Channel News Asia – CNA: Thousands of Congolese churchgoers join nationwide marches against eastern violence

KINSHASA: Tens of thousands of Christians took to the streets across Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday (Dec 4) to protest violence in eastern regions, as church leaders accused the international community of hypocrisy over Rwanda’s alleged role in the fighting.

After Sunday services, churchgoers in the capital Kinshasa and other major cities heeded a call from the conference of Catholic bishops to march against the conflict with the M23 rebel group, which Congo accuses Rwanda of supporting.Rwanda denies this.

“We say no to war, no to a divided Congo,” said Blaise Emmanuel, vicar at St Elizabeth’s parish, who with other priests led a procession in Montgafula, one of the poorest communes in Kinshasa.

The mass protests were the most significant since an escalation in fighting in recent months between state forces and M23. The violence has displaced an estimated 390,000 people, according to UN agency OCHA.

Demonstrators in Kinshasa sang and carried banners reading: “No to balkanisation, no to the hypocrisy of the international community. The DRC is not for sale.”

Many in Congo have for years accused the West of failing to hold Rwanda to account for its alleged role in stoking insecurity in the east.

Read more: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/world/thousands-congolese-churchgoers-join-nationwide-marches-against-eastern-violence-3121491

‘We are raising our concerns to the UK government about Kagame of Rwanda who wants to kill all of us abroad (refugees, critics and dissidents Rwandan and Congolese). We are not safe even abroad ‘

OCCRP: Rwanda Fed False Intelligence to U.S. and Interpol As It Pursued Political Dissidents Abroad

Rwandan dissidents have claimed that President Paul Kagame has used dirty tactics to go after his critics abroad. Now, a classified FBI report obtained by OCCRP confirms that Rwanda has been conducting “poison pen” operations on American soil for years.

  • Rwandan intelligence fed false information to U.S. agencies about Rwandan-born U.S. residents who were considered enemies of the country’s President Paul Kagame, with the aim of having them deported.
  • The FBI investigated Rwandan claims that people affiliated with the U.S. chapter of the opposition Rwanda National Congress had supported anti-Rwanda militants in Central Africa, but found the allegations to be baseless.
  • An internal Interpol document shows that the international police body revoked an arrest warrant for Eugene Gasana, a former Kagame loyalist now critical of the Rwandan regime, after it found Rwanda’s claims against him to be politically motivated.

Read more: https://www.occrp.org/en/investigations/rwanda-fed-false-intelligence-to-us-and-interpol-as-it-pursued-political-dissidents-abroad

Updated 10 November 2022: Independent: UK human rights record and Rwanda deportation plan attacked at UN review

Treatment of asylum seekers and shredding of Human Rights Act come under fire in Geneva

The UK’s plans to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda and tear up the Human Rights Act have been fiercely criticised at a United Nations review.

Rishi Sunak’s government suffered the embarrassment of countries ranging from the United States and Germany to Angola questioning its human rights record, at the gathering in Geneva.

Washington highlighted how the UN refugee agency has raised the alarm about the intention “to send asylum seekers to third countries”, starting with Rwanda.

Read more: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/human-rights-rwanda-asylum-seekers-b2222246.html

Updated 29 October 2022: Demonstration on 2 December 2022 between 11am to 4pm:

Join the demonstration at Rwanda High Commission in UK:

21 October 2022: Guardian: Airline hired for UK’s Rwanda deportations pulls out of scheme

Exclusive: Privilege Style causes problem for Home Office as it bows to pressure from campaigner

A charter airline hired to remove people seeking refuge in the UK to Rwanda has pulled out of the scheme after pressure from campaigners.

A plane operated by Privilege Style first attempted to fly asylum seekers to the east African country in June but was grounded by an 11th hour ruling by the European court of human rights.

The Mallorca-based carrier had become known as the UK government’s “airline of last resort” for its willingness to conduct deportation flights that other airlines refused.

But after an email campaign by torture survivors and refugee organisations, Privilege Style has said it will no longer operate flights to Rwanda.

The development will leave the UK government in a fix. Two other charter airlines that previously conducted deportation flights, Titan Airways and AirTanker, have already ruled themselves out of the scheme.

In a letter to the charity Freedom from Torture, which has led the campaign under the hashtag #StopTheFlights, Privilege Style said it “hereby wishes to communicate the following: that it will not operate flights to Rwanda in the future. That it has never flown to Rwanda since the one flight scheduled for June 2022 (which is the reason for this controversy) was suspended.”

The UK signed a £120m deal with the Rwandan government in April to outsource the UK’s asylum system as it sought to find a solution to a growing number of refugees entering the UK via small boats in the Channel.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/oct/21/airline-hired-uk-rwanda-deportations-pulls-out-privilege-style

20 October 2022: International Agreements Committee – Lords Select Committee

UK-Rwanda Memorandum of Understanding

Inquiry: The House of Lords International Agreements Committee, chaired by Baroness Hayter, has launched an inquiry into the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the UK and Rwanda for the provision of an Asylum Partnership Arrangement.  


  1. The UK-Rwanda MoU is an important political arrangement, the implications of which may affect individual rights and which warrants Parliamentary scrutiny. (Paragraph 25)
  2. We are concerned that the Government has concluded an agreement which appears to be entirely unenforceable. In practice this means that neither individuals, nor the Parties to the arrangement, can ensure the rights of those affected are fully protected. (Paragraph 33)
  3. The UK Government should not have chosen an MoU to facilitate this arrangement. Agreements that raise fundamental questions about individual rights should not be entered into through an MoU, but through a formal treaty. (Paragraph 34)
  4. The arrangement does not appear to fall within the Government’s own guidance of when an MoU may be used in place of a treaty. In the absence of written evidence from the Government, it is unclear on what basis it considered it preferable to conclude the agreement as an MoU—particularly, when practical considerations are balanced against the fact that the arrangement engages individuals’ rights. (Paragraph 37)
  5. We call on the Government to set out why it decided to use an MoU for its arrangement with Rwanda. (Paragraph 38)
  6. We also call on the Government to publish clearer guidance and criteria as to when an instrument ought to be agreed as a legally binding treaty and when it may be concluded as an MoU. The current guidance gives Government Departments too much discretion in this regard. Their decision can have far-reaching consequences—both in respect of parliamentary scrutiny and the impact of arrangements on individuals. (Paragraph 39)
  7. There is a substantial lacuna in the parliamentary scrutiny of international agreements as significant MoUs are not subject to any formal scrutiny processes. (Paragraph 44)
  8. The Government’s approach in this case has meant that Parliament has had no opportunity to consider whether the MoU is compatible with the UK’s obligations under international law; whether the policy objectives are coherent and achievable, the financial implications, the basis in domestic law for its implementation; or whether any safeguards ought to have been introduced. (Paragraph 45)
  9. It is unacceptable that the Government should be able to use prerogative powers to agree important arrangements with other states that have serious human rights implications without any scrutiny by Parliament. (Paragraph 46)
  10. As noted earlier in this report, MoUs should not be used instead of treaties if they raise fundamental questions about the rights of individuals. Where it is not possible to enter into a formal treaty, we call on the Government to ensure that any such MoU be deposited for parliamentary scrutiny in the same way as a treaty, including the submission of an Explanatory Memorandum. This would mean allowing for a gap of at least 21 sitting days between deposit of the MoU and its implementation, and facilitating a debate if requested.
    (Paragraph 47)


See also the debate in the Lords: Lords Chamber, Volume 824: debated on Wednesday 19 October 2022

Rwanda Asylum Partnership

Asked by Lord Dubs : To ask His Majesty’s Government whether it is still their policy to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

[Read the full discussion here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Lords/2022-10-19/debates/d80d1b41-3ff5-424a-9a0e-161e3d5ca8be/LordsChamber ]

It ends thus:

Lord Paddick (LD)Sharethis specific contribution

My Lords, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in a written submission to the High Court this year—not a previous year—said:

“There should be no transfers of asylum seekers from the UK to Rwanda under the UK-Rwanda Arrangement.”

It said there was “a serious risk” of human rights abuses and a serial disregard for international law in Rwanda. The UNHCR has clearly changed its mind. Why will the Government not change theirs?

Lord Sharpe of Epsom (Con)

My Lords, I have already stated that we are of the firm opinion that Rwanda complies with international law. I go back to my earlier answer: under the scheme I described earlier, the emergency transit mechanism under the aegis of the UNHCR, Rwanda has welcomed and integrated more than 500 individuals who were evacuated from Libya. Personally, I am at a bit of a loss to understand why the UNHCR seems to take this line with us when it is doing it itself.

see also: Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules (7.14pm)

Lord Hylton 

That this House regrets that the Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules (HC17), published on 11 May, implements plans to differentiate between refugees depending on how they entered the United Kingdom, does not provide for safe routes, and was not accompanied by an impact assessment on the effect of the changes. 2nd Report from the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee

[Read the full discussion here on the same link: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Lords/2022-10-19/debates/d80d1b41-3ff5-424a-9a0e-161e3d5ca8be/LordsChamber ]

Lord Hylton (CB)

My Lords, I had slightly expected that this might have been a rather dry-as-dust debate on the precise terms of the regulation. To my delight, it has branched out and blossomed. Many very important issues were raised, so I am doubly grateful to all those who have taken part in it. I note that they have come from all sides of the House. I join in the congratulations made earlier today to the Minister on his new role, and thank him in particular for his precise answers to the several questions that I raised with him in preparation for this debate.

The debate has touched on Rwanda, so maybe I could briefly say why sending people there would be a very bad idea. It is a country with a high poverty level and very poor human rights record. For example, refugees who have protested have been fired on and a number killed. There are strong allegations that refugees who have left Uganda to go to other countries have been murdered by Rwandan agents. I note that Israel had an agreement with Rwanda but has had to abandon it. I very much hope that Denmark will not follow this dangerous and unreliable course, and that development aid will not be used as a bribe to persuade the Rwandans to take external people.

That is all I need to say on that. Having done so, and having thanked those who need to be thanked, I beg leave to withdraw my Motion.

Motion withdrawn.


18 October 2022: PCS Union  At TUC Congress this afternoon Mark Serwotka made a passionate speech against the government’s policies on immigration and the Nationalities and Borders Act.

Congress votes to oppose the government’s unlawful immigration system

Mark Serwotka made a passionate speech against the government’s policies on immigration and the Nationalities and Borders Act.

Composite Motion 19: Oppose the government’s unlawful immigration system was moved by our general secretary Mark Serwotka on behalf of PCS and seconded by the National Education Union.

The motion condemns the Nationalities and Borders Act (NABA) “as a vicious piece of legislation designed to whip up racism” which effectively takes Britain out of the Refugee Convention and its established international refugee laws and practices.

The NABA discriminates on the grounds of race and nationality, by disadvantaging asylum seekers, and parts of the Act empower the home secretary to strip British people of their citizenship, disproportionately impacting Black British citizens. PCS is campaigning for safe routes for people to reach the UK where their applications for asylum can be fairly processed.

The motion also condemns the government’s proposal for a policy of pushback to turn refugees back in the English Channel and its plan to transport people seeking asylum in the UK to Rwanda to be housed in offshore detention camps.

The motion called for the TUC to campaign for the repeal of the Nationalities and Borders Act, campaign against the Rwanda asylum policy and for a humane immigration policy that includes safe legal routes for refugees and asylum seekers to enter the UK.  Unions should support protests and campaign groups and charities that are legally challenging the Act and the government’s policies on immigration.

In moving the motion, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said:

“We are confident that this Motion sets out a road map in order to expose and defeat the racist policies of this Conservative government in the way that they are seeking to treat refugees and asylum seekers.”

“This is the government that had Teresa May telling us we needed a hostile environment in the Home Office. PCS members work in the Home Office. They do not go to work to be hostile to people who are desperate and are fleeing war, persecution and famine……I’m proud that PCS leadership of our union and activists and members in the Home Office came to us to say that we should work with charities like Care 4 Calais and others to challenge and defeat the government’s disgraceful policies of pushing back boats in the channel and now seeking to deport people to Rwanda. Congress, not a single boat has been turned back in the channel and not a single person has so far been deported to Rwanda. That has happened because of the action of charities, campaigners, and our union, and antiracists everywhere.”

“We hope to win the court case. If we don’t win the court case we will immediately consult with lawyers to see to appeal. We should stop at nothing to ensure people have a chance to come to this country and start a new life. We should also be clear that whilst legal action is important, equally as important, if not more important, is the campaigning on the streets, in the workplaces, calling out the racism and ill informed views that so often go unchallenged.”

“Let us remember this: These are not words on a page. These are lives. Little less than a year ago 31 people died in our channel including a pregnant woman because they came to this country wanting a better life and our government’s policy was to let them drown in the sea or turn them back.”

The motion was carried unanimously.

14 October 2022: Guardian: Home Office threatens to send heavily pregnant rape survivor to Rwanda

Eritrean woman, 28, in acute distress having spent most of her life in search of safety

A heavily pregnant rape survivor from Eritrea has been threatened with forced removal to Rwanda by the Home Office.

Human rights campaigners say it is the “most egregious” case they have come across so far in the government’s scheme to outsource the processing of UK asylum claims to the east African country.

Linked cases are currently going through the courts, challenging the lawfulness of forcibly removing asylum seekers who arrived recently in the UK in small boats and claimed asylum to Rwanda.

The 28-year-old woman, who is 37 weeks pregnant, is in a state of acute distress about the threatened removal. Doctors say scans show her baby has stopped growing and that she may need to be induced.

Home Office officials were aware that she was pregnant when she arrived in the UK on a small boat in July and organised a pregnancy scan for her. Officials have also moved her from one hotel to another after she became unwell with pregnancy-related nausea in the first hotel.

The woman, who is using the pseudonym Delina, said she was “really frightened” about what might happen to her and her baby. She had been living in an informal refugee camp in Calais for eight months before travelling to the UK in a dinghy and was struggling to survive there as a homeless young woman, even before the rape occurred.

She has spent decades in search of safety. She fled Eritrea at the age of three with her mother after her father was killed by the government. Her mother took her first to Sudan and later to Lebanon. She has no family members left. “I have not been able to sleep since I got the Rwanda notice,” she said.

recent report from the charity Medical Justice, which analysed the cases of 36 people threatened with removal to Rwanda, found that 26 showed evidence of torture, 15 showed evidence of PTSD and 11 had suicidal thoughts.

In a separate case a female trafficking victim was also threatened with removal to Rwanda.

Read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/oct/13/home-office-eritrean-woman-pregnant-rape-survivor-rwanda

and then later the same day: Guardian: Home Office apologises over threat to send pregnant rape survivor to Rwanda

Government withdraws letter to woman, who is 37 weeks pregnant, saying that it was sent by mistake

She has spent decades in search of safety. She fled Eritrea at the age of three with her mother after her father was killed by the government. Her mother took her first to Sudan and later to Lebanon. She has no family members left. “I have not been able to sleep since I got the Rwanda notice,” she said.

Clare Moseley, founder of the charity Care4Calais which is supporting the woman, said of the Home Office’s decision to withdraw the letter threatening to send the woman to Rwanda: “The Home Office knew our client was pregnant but still issued a Rwanda notice. It has been withdrawn now after the Home Office were publicly shamed which is a relief for the woman but it is shocking that it happened at all.

“The Rwanda plan is brutal. It is not safe or appropriate for any human being and the government should withdraw this plan now.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We urgently reviewed this case and found the letter was sent in error. It has now been corrected and we have issued an apology.

“Everyone in scope for relocation to Rwanda will be individually assessed, and no one will be relocated if it is unsafe or inappropriate for them.”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/oct/14/home-office-apologises-over-threat-to-send-pregnant-survivor-to-rwanda

13 October 2022: BBC: Rwanda three-week removals plan revealed

Asylum seekers crossing the English Channel could be sent to Rwanda in as little as three weeks after their arrival, it has been claimed.

In the latest stage of a High Court legal battle over the controversial Home Office plan, opponents said the timescales were unlawful and unfair.

Charity Asylum Aid said the plan denies people a fair chance to make a case.

But the Home Office said flexible time scales would in fact allow migrants time to present all of their arguments.

No flights to Rwanda have yet left – and they will not take place until the complex and huge legal battle is finished.

Last month, the High Court heard five days of arguments over whether the government had any actual power to send asylum seekers to Rwanda if they have come to the UK from a safe country, such as France.

Judges are also considering the UN refugee agency’s concerns and whether the UK can share the personal data of migrants with Rwanda’s authorities.

In Thursday’s hearing at the High Court, lawyers for Asylum Aid argued that migrants could not get a fair hearing under the accelerated timetable to list them for a flight.

After an initial screening interview in Kent, migrants would be given a “notice of intent” that they were being considered for the Rwanda scheme.

They would then have seven days to make a case to stay in the UK – and if the Home Office later decides to send them to Rwanda instead, they would have a further five-day notice of the date of their flight.

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-63248214

6 October 2022: Independent: Suella Braverman says it is her ‘dream’ and ‘obsession’ to see a flight take asylum seekers to Rwanda

Home secretary says flights are unlikely to start before Christmas because of expected appeals to High Court ruling

Suella Braverman has said that seeing a flight take asylum seekers to Rwanda is her “dream” and “obsession”.

But the new home secretary told an event at the Conservative Party conference that she does not expect any planes to take off until after Christmas, because of ongoing legal challenges.

“I would love to have a front page of The Telegraph with a plane taking off to Rwanda, that’s my dream, it’s my obsession,” Ms Braverman said.

Read more: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/suella-braverman-rwanda-dream-obsession-b2195296.html

30 September 2022: Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit: “I’m terrified”: the dangers of Home Office Age Assessments

[From SNN signatory organisation] Read our new report published today.

Extract: We spoke to Afran about how frightening and isolating the experience of having his age disbelieved was. But it was not the end of the horrors he would experience. Weeks later, despite his age being accepted by his local authority, he received a letter from the Home Office informing him that he would be removed to Rwanda. GMIAU is currently representing Afran to have this notice cancelled. It is clear that the alarms raised by charities earlier this year that children were at risk of being sent to Rwanda have not been heeded. Afran is frightened and distressed. His story shows how far the government is failing in its duties to safeguard children and protect their best interests.

In our report we offer detailed recommendations for the significant culture change we believe must happen in the Home Office. These catastrophic errors must stop and an investigation must take place into why hundreds of children are being wrongly treated as adults.

Click here to download our report.

Read more: https://gmiau.org/age-assessments-2209/

Guardian: Home Office age disputes putting child asylum seekers at risk, reports find

Research highlights concerns about how government treats young people arriving in UK to seek asylum

Hundreds of child asylum seekers are at risk of abuse and neglect due to the Home Office wrongly classifying them as adults, according to two new reports.

Reports from the Refugee Council and Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit (GMIAU), published on Friday, highlight concerns about the way the Home Office is treating young people upon arriving in the UK.

The Home Office does not publish comprehensive data about all stages of the age assessment process for young asylum seekers. The two new reports have been compiled from a mix of freedom of information (FoI) requests to local authorities and their own casework files.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/sep/30/home-office-age-disputes-child-asylum-seekers-abuse-risk

27 September 2022: Guardian: Home Office to reopen immigration detention centres with £399m deal

Two centres in England could detain 1,000 male asylum seekers in move linked to Rwanda scheme

The Home Office plans to open two immigration detention centres to detain 1,000 male asylum seekers in a scheme which is projected to cost £399m.

The home secretary, Suella Braverman, has indicated she will take an even harder line on immigration than her predecessor, Priti Patel, and plans to increase the use of detention.

The government currently operates seven immigration detention centres along with some short-term holding centres in various parts of the UK. Officials say they can accommodate 3,000 people at any one time. If the two new centres go ahead, they will represent a significant increase in the number of people the Home Office can lock up.

A plan to reopen Campsfield House immigration removal centre in Kidlington, Oxfordshire, was announced in June, but news about a plan to reopen the Haslar centre in Gosport, Hampshire, has only just emerged. Ministers have invited expressions of interest to tender for the new contract for the management and operation of both centres in a six-year, £399m deal.

The Guardian understands that the opening of the two centres is specifically linked to the detainment of people before they are sent to Rwanda. The government is paying £120m for the Rwanda scheme – as well as an extra £20m. Officials have not confirmed the total cost of the Rwanda deal.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/sep/26/home-office-to-reopen-immigration-detention-centres-with-399m-deal

15 September 2022: Quakers in Britain: Quakers oppose forced removals to Rwanda as government faces legal challenge

Quakers continue to urge the government to drop its contentious plans to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda, now being challenged in the High Court.

The legal challenge, brought by asylum seekers along with the Public and Commercial Services Union, Care4Calais and Detention Action, began on Monday, September 5.

The Royal Courts of Justice hearing was expected to last for five days, with a second hearing brought by Asylum Aid due in October.

Decisions on both claims are expected at the same time but could take months, especially if either side appeals all the way up to the Supreme Court. David Forbes of QARN said: “There is still a long road to travel.”

Policy ‘flies in face’ of Refugee Convention

Fred Ashmore of the Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network said: “We in QARN steadfastly hope that this government will find a way to dump the Rwanda flights policy which flies in the face of the Refugee Convention as well as provoking outrage internationally.”

Some newly arrived asylum seekers housed in hotels received letters in August threatening them with deportation to Rwanda, the Guardian reports, indicating that the Home Office plans a new deportation flight after the first was grounded on June 14 after legal action.

When the plan was introduced in June this year Quakers in Britain said that forced removals to Rwanda were the cruel fruits of policies of discrimination increasingly embedded into the practices of the British state.

Quakers and many others advocate for new, peaceful, safer routes of migration including the introduction of humanitarian visas and improved rules for family reunion.

DEMONSTRATE! Monday 5 September 2022 9am to 5pm STOP RWANDA FLIGHTS! NO OFFSHORE DETENTION scrap the Nationality and Borders Act #Rwanda

Join this urgent protest !! Now on 5 September due to postponement of court hearing date!! following the Care4Calais & PCS Union’s legal challenge, the case will go to court again for a hearing to decide whether the Rwanda policy itself is lawful.

Monday 5 September 9am to 5pm, Outside the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London WC2A 2LL


See below for more information about demonstrations on Monday 5 September

Updated 5 September 2022: Liz Truss is identified as the next Prime Minister as of tomorrow, Priti Patel resigns from the post of Home Secretary, and there is a new announcement ‘Independent panel appointed to oversee partnership with Rwanda

New monitoring committee will provide independent assurance of the UK-Rwanda Migration and Economic Development Partnership.’

Read more here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/independent-panel-appointed-to-oversee-partnership-with-rwanda

Members appointed by the Government of the United Kingdom: Harish Salve QC who formerly served as Solicitor General of India and is a senior advocate at the Indian Bar; Karina Kielbinska who most recently served as Chair of the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) for Heathrow Immigration Removal Centre, and previously worked as a global marketing director for GlaxoSmithKline and held marketing director roles at Cadbury both in the UK and Australia; Morten Lisborg, a Danish independent migration and policy advisor and renowned Alexander Downer, ‘appointed in February 2022 to lead a wide-ranging, independent review of Border Force to assess its structure, powers, funding and priorities to ensure it can keep pace with rapidly evolving threats and continue to protect the border’, with Australian expertise of being fiercely hostile to people seeking asylum


The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), Care4Calais and Detention Action, along with a number of asylum seekers facing removal to Rwanda have brought a judicial review challenging the Government’s Rwanda Policy. They are represented by Duncan Lewis Solicitors. Other claims are joined with those cases and they will all be heard by the Divisional Court between 5th-9th September. This is the first time that the Court will consider the legal arguments in full, and make a judgment on the lawfulness of the policy.

The Claimants will argue that the Rwanda policy is unlawful on multiple grounds, including that the Secretary of State’s assessment that Rwanda is generally a safe third country is irrational and that removing asylum-seekers to Rwanda would risk violating fundamental human rights, including the right to be free from torture and inhuman treatment.

By way of background to the case, during an open hearing on 16 June 2022, the Court heard comments made by an independent reviewer commenting on the Home Office’s independent assessment of Rwanda (the ‘Country Policy and Information Note’). The reviewer noted that there are ‘“state control/security/surveillance structures from the national level down to the 10 households as a unit of administration (a combination of party, intelligence and military). Political opposition is not tolerated and arbitrary detention, torture and even killings are accepted methods of enforcing control too


PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said:

PCS has led this appeal because sending asylum seekers to Rwanda is not only immoral and unlawful – our members tell us it’s unworkable too.

“We want the Home Office to abandon its hostile approach to refugees and to work with us to build a humane system that allows our members the time, space and resources to do their jobs properly.” 

Clare Moseley, Founder of Care4Calais, said:

“When the Government attempted the flight in June we supported 121 people who had been issued Rwanda notices.  We saw harrowing suicide attempts, self harm and over 20 people on hunger strike.  We spoke to mothers, wives and children who begged us to help their loved ones..  We supported people who had escaped from bloody conflicts  and survived torture only to be detained and told the terrifying news that they would be deported half way across the world.

It is sickening to contemplate this horror happening once more.  Given the more effective and humane options available, is this really what we as a compassionate country want to do?”

Bella Sankey, Director of Detention Action, said:

“The British courts have a fine tradition of guaranteeing fundamental rights and holding the Executive to account when it overreaches. We believe that the Government’s policy of expelling traumatised torture and trafficking survivors to an autocratic country thousands of miles away is unlawful, immoral and counterproductive. We are going to court today to test the lawfulness of the policy on behalf of our clients and hundreds of others liable to forced expulsion.


1.    Detention Action was founded in 1993 and works to advance the rights and improve the welfare of people in immigration detention. DA works on the frontline to support people in immigration detention, as well as challenging injustice in detention and deportation practices. Detention Action successfully litigated to bring an end to the former Detained Fast Track system by the Court of Appeal in 2015 and in 2020 prevented the unlawful removal of 25 people to Jamaica, again following a Court of Appeal order.

2.    Care4Calais supports refugees in Northern France who want to claim their right of asylum in the UK; the people targeted by the Home Office’s Rwanda policies. In the UK they help refugees with donated aid, access to legal, medical and other services and guidance through their daily lives. They work in 147 hotels across England and Wales supporting over 8,000 asylum seekers who are housed by the Government. They have a group of over 5,000 volunteers and are supported by over 100,000 public supporters and donors. Many hundreds of their volunteers host refugees in their homes. C4C brought legal proceedings to challenge the Home Secretary’s push-backs policy, in response to which the policy was withdrawn.

3.    PCS is the largest trade union representing civil servants. It represents Home Office officials who will be charged with implementing government policy in respect of the removal of asylum seekers to Rwanda, potentially including taking initial details from new arrivals, referring them to reception/removal centres pending a decision on the admissibility of their asylum claim and facilitating the enforced removal of asylum seekers to Rwanda.

4.    The High Court will hear a further challenge, brought by Asylum Aid, concerning the Rwanda Policy in October and is expected to hand down judgment in both cases following the October hearing.

Detention Action is fundraising to cover legal and campaigning costs relating to the Rwanda policy. Their fundraising page is: https://detentionaction.netdonor.net/page/104824/donate/1

Care4Calais is fundraising to cover legal costs relating to the Rwanda policy. Their campaign page is: care4calais.org/stop-rwanda/

but also:

SOAS Detainee Support (SDS)
Detention centre demos on 4th & 10th September in solidarity with people threatened with deportation to Rwanda. These actions are being organised by Action Against Detention & Deportations, a coalition of groups including SDS committed to ending detention & deportations.

We stand against deportations and detention as tools of hate, division, and a racist border regime. We unconditionally oppose the UK government’s Rwanda plan.The first Rwanda deportation flight was grounded on June 14th after protests, direct action and legal intervention. Despite ongoing proceedings in the High Court, The Home Office is now planning a new flight. Meanwhile, the two remaining candidates for prime minister have made clear their intention to continue this cruel policy, including expanding it to other countries.The impact of this policy on those it impacts cannot be understated: from the perilous journeys made ever more dangerous by the closure of safe routes, to the physical violence of detention and forced deportation, to the mental anguish suffered by those detained with uncertainty and the threat of expulsion to a place they have never known hanging over their heads.

It is imperative we stand up now and make our rejection of these injustices clear.We will show our solidarity with all those detained and threatened with deportation with demonstrations at detention centres around the UK on 4th and 10th September, the weekends before and after the court hearing. Check here for updates and to find your local demo, and get in touch with any questions!

When and where?

You can find information about each demonstration below. This information will be updated regularly, and we will be trying to provide travel support and other assistance where possible, so please keep an eye out for new information, or get in touch via s.det.sup@gmail.com or social media. Please follow the hyperlinks for transport and other additional information!

The demonstrations will be held at these sites on the following dates:

  • Colnbrook/Harmondsworth IRC, UB7 0HB (near Heathrow) – 4th September – 3pm
  • Manchester Short Term Holding Facility, M90 5PZ – 4th September – 3pm
  • Yarl’s Wood IRC, MK44 1RD – 10th September – 3pm

You can also support the demonstrations by contributing to our GoFundMe! Many detention centres are in difficult places to get to, part of an intentional effort to maximise isolation and cut off detainees from potential support, heightening the loneliness and emotional and practical challenges of those detained. We are therefore asking for contributions to help with travel costs, to ensure that we can get as many people to each detention centre as possible!

If you would like to attend a demo but are worried about travel costs, please fill in this form and we will provide financial support. Travel Costs for Rwanda Plan Weekend of Action, organized by SOAS Detainee Support

These actions are organised by a wide network of organisations working for the rights of migrants and refugees and against deportations and immigration detention.
These include:


Updated 1 September 2022: Morning Star: Rwanda policy: Home Office ‘knowingly’ targeting women victims of trafficking for removal, report finds

THE Home Office is targeting vulnerable women for deportation to Rwanda after identifying them as potential victims of trafficking, a new report by a charity has found.

The in-depth analysis of 36 people threatened with removal to the east African country also found that the scheme has compounded mental health problems, including increasing the risk of self-harm and suicide.

Many vulnerable people, including age-disputed children and suicidal individuals are among those who’ve been targeted, the report by Medical Justice published today claims.

Of those included in the analysis, 17 had medical assessments carried out by clinicians while being held in detention. The report showed that the vast majority — 14 — displayed signs of being victims of torture, while six had indicators of trafficking.

Shockingly, Medical Justice found that two women and one man who’d been officially recognised as potential victims of trafficking by the Home Office were later given notices of intent for deportation to Rwanda.

And at least eight had also been recognised by the government as having evidence of a history of torture.

Many remain in detention centres despite the cancellation of the first flight to Rwanda on June 14, and even after the Home Office has acknowledged their vulnerabilities.

While the Home Office has insisted that no one will be removed to Rwanda if it is “unsafe or inappropriate for them,” the charity’s analysis found that the screening process used to detect vulnerabilities was “inadequate.”

The report also notes that the prospect of removal alone is enough to cause “profound harm” to the mental health and wellbeing of those targeted.

Read more: https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/hleadlong-rwanda-policy-home-office-knowingly-targeting-women-victims-trafficking-removal

25 August 2022: Guardian: Home Office planning new deportation flight to Rwanda

Some asylum seekers have received letters saying government intends to remove them, the Guardian has learned

The Home Office is planning a new deportation flight to Rwanda, the Guardian has learned.

Some newly arrived asylum seekers in hotels have received letters from the department telling them their asylum claims are deemed inadmissible for consideration in the UK.

They go on to say the government intends to send them to Rwanda to have their claims processed there. Asylum seekers have 14 days to raise objections over their forced removal to the east African country.

Clare Moseley, the founder of the charity Care4Calais, said: “We’ve recently learned that the Foreign Office warned Priti Patel that refugees should not be sent to Rwanda due to human rights concerns including that they could be forced to join the country’s army and sent to fight in neighbouring states.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/aug/25/home-office-planning-new-deportation-flight-rwanda

Updated 17 August 2022: Guardian: Rwanda asylum policy passages must be revealed, judge rules

Lord Justice Lewis rules several passages must be disclosed to claimants before hearing to determine if policy is lawful

A judge has ruled that the government must reveal the majority of passages in internal documents relating to a controversial policy to send asylum seekers to Rwanda to have their claims processed.

The foreign secretary, Liz Truss, made an application to the high court asking for public interest immunity to be granted to withhold 10 passages of two internal documents from disclosure that she said could damage international relations and breach national security if they were publicly revealed.

Lord Justice Lewis has refused to grant public interest immunity on six of the 10 extracts but granted it in the remaining four. The ruling that the majority of the extracts can be disclosed is likely to be a blow to the government.

The judge ruled that the passages must be disclosed to claimants before a high court hearing on 5 September to determine whether or not the policy of sending some asylum seekers who arrive in the UK to Rwanda was lawful.

He also ruled that some other passages could remain confidential and should not be disclosed.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/aug/17/rwanda-asylum-policy-passages-must-be-revealed-judge-rules

Updated 16 August 2022: Guardian: Foreign Office official raised ‘stark’ criticisms of Rwanda plan, court hears

Guardian, BBC and Times seek release of documents about policy of sending asylum seekers abroad

A Foreign Office official raised concerns about plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, citing state surveillance, arbitrary detention, torture and killings by the country’s government, the high court has heard.

The court has been asked to consider an application by the foreign secretary to keep parts of certain government documents secret for fear the contents could damage international relations and threaten national security.

The government’s application for a public interest immunity (PII) certificate asks to keep 10 short passages confidential.

The Guardian, the BBC and the Times made submissions to the court urging disclosure of these 10 passages, arguing that this was in the public interest. A draft ruling from Lord Justice Lewis into the PII application is expected tomorrow.

Neil Sheldon QC, acting for the foreign secretary, told the court that the application was only to keep short passages out of the public domain and that most of the documents about the Rwanda plans have been disclosed.

Parties challenging the lawfulness of the Rwanda policy – the PCS union, Care4Calais, Detention Action and some asylum seekers – say the passages should be made public.

Jude Bunting QC, acting for the three media organisations, said: “What we seek to stand up for is the interest of the public in the administration of justice.”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/aug/16/foreign-office-official-criticisms-rwanda-plan-asylum-seekers

BBC: Rwanda asylum scheme: Warning over political killings before UK flight

UK ministers who backed sending asylum seekers to Rwanda were warned by their own adviser that its government tortures and kills political opponents.

The warning came weeks before the British government tried to send asylum seekers to the African nation.

The adviser raised concerns about the tone and accuracy of an official note on Rwanda’s human rights record.

There is an ongoing legal challenge against government attempts to keep more of the comments secret.

Migrants identified for the aborted flight, and three media organisations – BBC News, including BBC Two’s Newsnight, the Times and the Guardian newspapers – are seeking disclosure of the material.

The first Rwanda flight was grounded in June after the European Court of Human Rights said the High Court in London must first fully examine whether the removals policy is lawful. A hearing is scheduled for next month.

On Tuesday, the government asked the High Court to rule that the case should not include 11 specific comments about Rwanda from an unnamed Foreign Office (FCDO) official, who had been asked for their view.

The court heard that FCDO bosses had asked the unnamed official, who had some expertise in African affairs, to look at a draft of the Rwanda “Country Policy and Information Note”.

This is an official and public document on the country and its human rights record – and it was being updated while the Rwanda flights plan was being thrashed out.

In an email sent to colleagues on 26 April – two weeks after the plan became public – the reviewer questioned the tone of the report and whether it accurately reflected the situation in the country.

High Court judge Lord Justice Lewis was told the official had written in a covering email: “There are state control, security, surveillance structures from the national level down… political opposition is not tolerated and arbitrary detention, torture and even killings are accepted methods of enforcing control too”.

Jude Bunting QC, appearing for the media organisations, told the court the withheld evidence from the reviewer was likely to be the most critical material about the Rwanda affair.

“The sensitivity of this policy cannot be understated,” he said.

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-62566194

Updated 12 August 2022: Demonstration on 10 September 2022 in London organised by The Congolese support Group, Apareco and others Congolese groups in the UK

Updated 30 July 2022: DEMONSTRATE! Monday 5 September 2022 9am to 5pm STOP RWANDA FLIGHTS! NO OFFSHORE DETENTION scrap the Nationality and Borders Act

Monday 5 September 9am to 5pm, Outside the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London WC2A 2LL

Join this urgent protest !! Now on 5 September due to postponement of court hearing date!! following the Care4Calais & PCS Union’s legal challenge, the case will go to court again for a hearing to decide whether the Rwanda policy itself is lawful.

The legal challenge, and the protests that have taken place late last month week were so important in stopping the horror of refugees being sent to Rwanda on the government’s first scheduled flight.

This demonstration is called jointly by the TUC, Care4Calais, Stand Up To Racism and supported by unions including PCS, Unison, Unite, NEU, GMB, CWU, FBU, NASUWT, ASLEF, UCU and BFAWU, as well as Refugee Council, Citizenship Coalition, Amnesty, StatusNow4All.


Updated 16 July 2022: Q_CAT – Quaker Concern for the Abolition of Torture briefing July 2022: Disappearances, arbitrary imprisonment, ill-treatment and torture – Rwanda.


There is much outrage at the casual cruelty inherent in the scheme to send people to Rwanda when they have come to seek sanctuary in the UK, believing that they would receive fair treatment here. There is little understanding of the nature of the agreement, with many people believing that those sent to Rwanda would have their asylum claims fairly considered and, if granted asylum, be allowed to return to the UK. That, however, is not the case. The people sent to Rwanda would be expected to remain there, even if (as is frequently the case) they had been aiming for the UK because they have family members here.

This report contains very useful information and links, and is available for reading here: https://qcat.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Q-CAT-Briefing-No-73-July-2022.pdf

Migration Policy Institute: The UK-Rwanda Agreement Represents Another Blow to Territorial Asylum

The United Kingdom’s controversial deal with Rwanda to relocate certain asylum seekers there—not for offshore processing for possible settlement in the United Kingdom but as a permanent destination—symbolizes the next step in a broader policy push that some high-income countries are taking to externalize migration management.

Read more: https://www.migrationpolicy.org/news/uk-rwanda-asylum-agreement

There will be further protests about Rwanda on Saturday 16 July and Sunday 17 July 2022, and othersin coming months – see below

Brighton: Sunday 17 July, 4.30pm at the Peace Statue, Hove, BN3 2WN
Click here for more information

Cambridge: Saturday 16 July, 12pm at Market Hill, Cambridge
Click here for more information

Cardiff: Saturday 16 July, 2pm at Home Office, General Buildings, Cardiff
Click here for more information

Coventry: Saturday 16 July, 1pm in Broadgate, Coventry CV1 1NF
Click here for more information

Leeds: Saturday 16 July, 12pm at Mill Hill Chapel, City Square, Leeds
Click here for more information

Manchester: Saturday 16 July, Solidarity Picnic at 2pm, Cathedral Gardens, Manchester
Click here for more information

Oxford: Saturday 16 July, 12pm in Bonn Square

Sheffield: Saturday 16 July, 12pm at Sheffield Town Hall, Sheffield
Click here for more information

Demonstrate: Monday 5th September, 9am to 5pm

Where: Outside the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London WC2A 2LL

On 5th September we will be back in the High Court for the most important hearing yet. The legal challenge, and the protests that took place in June were so important in stopping the horror of refugees being sent to Rwanda on the government’s first scheduled flight. We MUST keep up the pressure and show of opposition.

There will be a demonstration outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London between 9 am – 5 pm with a rally at 2 pm. Please attend if you can.

Click here for more information

National Scotsman: Home Office must change to help every Scottish council accept asylum seekers

Savan Qadir, activist, research assistant, and former asylum seeker, writes about how the Home Office needs to change its approach …

GLASGOW is no longer the only Scottish city taking asylum seekers. Every local authority in the country is now involved in “asylum dispersal”.

In April, the Tories’ “Minister for Safe and Legal Migration”, Kevin Foster, announced that the Home Office would be sending asylum seekers to all Scottish council areas on a mandatory basis.

By spreading the number of people seeking asylum across more areas, the Home Office hoped to “reduce and end” the use of hotels for accommodation.

Read more: https://www.thenational.scot/politics/20279627.home-office-must-change-help-every-scottish-council-accept-asylum-seekers/

Updated 11 July 2022: PCS Press@PCSPress: PCS has welcomed the decision to adjourn until September the full judicial review of the govt’s plans to deport people to Rwanda.

@pcs_union GS Mark Serwotka said: “We shall leave no stone unturned in our attempts to improve the environment in which our members work. We are standing in solidarity with refugees affected by these deplorable policies, and call on the govt to halt all flights to Rwanda until the result of the case is known, and to switch to an asylum system based on humanity, not hostility”

Care4Calais   · Breaking: Rwanda case adjourned Good news!

Good news! We are pleased to report that the Divisional Court has granted our application for an adjournment of the Rwanda case until September.

However the Government has refused to rule out flights in the interim, before the lawfulness of the policy is determined by the courts.

We are currently working with more than 20 people who have been detained and issued with Rwanda notices since the last court case, and many of those from before remain detained, exhausted and alone, and terrified for what the future might bring. They have suffered some of the very worst things that can happen on this planet. They have appalling physical and mental scars, and now face the threat of further extreme trauma. Some have now been in detention more than six weeks and urgently need to be released.

The Rwanda plan is brutal. Given the more humane and effective options available is this really what we as a compassionate country want to do?

We have been overwhelmed by the public support we have received so far but it’s essential that we keep the pressure up. We still have only seven weeks until we will be in court to fight against this cruel plan. To see how you can help please go to care4calais.org/stop-Rwanda

Updated 4 July 2022 Guardian: UK Home Office plans second flight to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda

Flight could take off within weeks and before court has ruled on whether scheme is lawful

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/jul/03/uk-home-office-plans-second-flight-to-deport-asylum-seekers-to-rwanda

Independent: Government accused of ‘outrageous cover-up’ after refusing to reveal cost of Rwanda plan

The government has been accused of an “outrageous” cover-up after refusing to reveal how much its plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda will cost.

Read more: https://www.independent.co.uk/…/rwanda-migant-asylum

Updated 1 July 2022: The Congolese and Ethiopian refugees in the UK today at N. 10 say all together:

  • No To Racist Deportation To Rwanda.
  • Stop genocide in Congo and
  • Stop genocide of the Amhara and Agew people in Ethiopia
  • Instead of arranging racist deportations to Rwanda

Letter delivered to Prime Minister, Boris Johnson at No. 10 Downing Street today: (see photos below)

APARECO and the Congolese community in the Great Britain wrote this memorandum to stand against the deportation of people to Rwanda.  

APARECO is a worldwide political organisation that stands for a true democracy in the DR Congo and against the Uganda-Rwanda occupation in the DRC. Noting that the DR Congo have a dark history of mass displacement of its population due to proxy wars fuels by Uganda and Rwanda in the DRC, and APARECO-UK is a representative organisation of the Congolese diaspora in the UK, APARECO considers that the UK’s Migration and Economic Development Partnership with Rwanda (MEDP) which is a plan to forcibly send people to Rwanda -as safe third country for people fleeing crisis- is not adequate and human for following reasons. 

UK’ s international obligations 

The UK -as a party to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and to its1967 Protocol, to the the1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness- should have an immigration policy that comply with the international refugee and human rights laws guaranteed by UNHCR which the UK played an important part in drafting and should fulfil its obligations in good faith. Considering that the UK preaches the Human Rights and democracy worldwide.  

In light of the global perspectives, the UK should not be uncharitable and should act according to the global solidarity and responsibility-sharing considering root causes of people mass displacement, and the fact that Rwandan is small and unstable country with a poor and nascent record of asylum system that has an insufficient safeguarding policy. Also noting that small Rwanda craves to forcibly expand its territories into the DR Congo and survives with international aids and the plundering of the DR Congo mineral and natural resources. 

Small Rwanda with limited resources 

Rwanda is 10,000 square miles with a population density of over 1,000 people per square mile. Rwanda is a small, densely populated country with limited resources to support the growing overpopulation which will inevitably lead to resource management issues. 

Considering, Rwanda has the equation of solving the dual problem of the smallness of its territory and population explosion. Thus, Rwanda solves these internal problems on the backs of the DRC and the Congolese people by looting the DR Congo resources and occupying DR Congo territories particularly in the Kivu region. 

For instance, and as part of its expansionist hegemony, Rwanda is annexing the Minembwe territory which is part of the Sovereign DRC by transplanting the “Banyamulenge” -who are Tutsis immigrants from Rwanda- into the DRC. According to humanitarian organizations, over millions of people had recently fled the fighting caused by the troops of the Rwandan and Burundian armies in Minembwe. In fact, these troops are exterminating the Congolese population to replace them with Banyamulenge immigrants. 

Currently, Rwandan returnees after the war face considerable challenges to their reintegration as they cannot access adequate shelter and primary basic needs-such as health education, basic domestic items, or income generation- and livelihood opportunities. Thus, all returnees receive in-kind food ratio from World Food Bank and Multi-purpose Cash Grants from UNHCR to cover their needs.  

Safeguards and international protection issues 

The Rwandan criminal regime does not meet the criteria to provide adequate safeguards to guarantee international protection needs to people fleeing international crisis.  

Rwanda has a record of not treating refugees in accordance with accepted international standards. Rwanda behaviour shows that refugees are at significant risk of arbitrary arrest and prison, no freedom of speech, ill-treatment, killing with no justice or accountability.  

In 2018 and in the context of protest by refugees against food ration cuts, the dictatorship regime of Rwanda:  

  • Killed twelve Congolese refugees.  
  • Arrested over sixty-six refugees and remained detained.  
  • Charged refugees with participating in illegal demonstrations, violence against public authorities, rebellion, and disobeying law enforcement.  
  • Charged refugees with “spreading false information with intent to create a hostile international opinion against the Rwandan state.” 
  • Sentenced refugees to between 3 months and 15 years in prison noting a refugee is currently serving a 15-year sentence. 

Double standard approach 

How can MEDP work? On the one hand, you have Rwanda which opens its arms to refugees, and which is constantly presented as a haven of peace; on the other hand, you have a Rwanda by proxy that attacks, commits genocide in Congo and displaces millions of people from their homes to neighbouring countries in order to seize the lands and resources of the DR Congo. 

The Rwandan criminal regime is not a model or sanctuary for protecting people fleeing crisis. Giving Rwanda the deal to take in people relocated from the UK is a human trafficking approach since the deal involves a lot of money and the regime only considers the financial aspects of the plan. 

As detailed above, the inhuman policy of refoulement of people in Rwanda is not feasible since: 

  • The UK promotes democracy, human rights, and freedom of expression around the world. 
  • The UK is a signatory and contributor to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees. Thus, the United Kingdom is the guarantor and the guardian of the 1951 convention and its protocols.
  • Rwanda has insufficient safeguards to guarantee the international protection of refugees. Relating to the UN Mapping Report and 2022 report from Freedom House, Rwanda is a criminal and repressive regime with a well-documented record of mass killings inside and outside its territory, particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo; is the most prolific perpetrators of transnational repression in the world; is a constant abuser of human rights.  


  • Considering how the crisis of Ukraine refugees is managed by Western countries and consequences of Brexit related to asylum seekers movement in EU, the UK should not replace the Dublin III regulation by the MEDP. The UK and its EU partner still have the gap to reconsider their co-operation or agreement in relation of returning or accepting people who are arriving in the UK from EU. Noting that leaving the EU does not change the UK’s obligation to offer protection to refugees as a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention, and the UK and EU understand very root causes of people mass displacement. Responsibility sharing and good faith could solve the refugee crisis. 
  • In regarding the MEDP effectivity, Kagame, the dictator, should be stopped, not be supported by the UK, and removed from power in order to create peace and democracy in the region. According to the DR Congo’s country guidance in the UK, it has demonstrated that for decades, the majority of Congolese living currently in the UK are refugees or descendants to refugee parents who fled the Congo due to Rwandan/Ugandan/ Burundian military interventions in the Congo. These military interventions turned Congo into “the world capital of rape” where about 48 women are raped every hour and millions of people displaced without accountability. Rwanda’ s atrocities in DRC contributed and are contributing to fuel immigrants in the world including the UK. Hence, Rwanda is not the solution but the problem. The Kigali regime will inevitable harm vulnerable people fleeing international crisis since Kagame has the licence to kill and the international community did not encourage the implementation of the 2001 UN Mapping report to judge criminals who are responsible of mass displacement in the Great-lake Region.  
  •  APARECO and the Congolese community in the Great Britain understand very well Rwanda hegemony and behaviour – including Uganda- in the DR Congo and call -along with UK pastoral organisations and eminent UK politicians from cross-party- to stop deportations of people to Rwanda and supporting the dictatorship regime in Rwanda.    

Therefore, APARECO and the Congolese community in the Great Britain will organise a peaceful sit-in -in front of the 10 Downing Street (The PM office)- on 01/07/2022 to stand against the UK’s Migration and Economic Development Partnership with Rwanda (MEDP) and denounce the most killing regime in the world known as Kagame’s Rwanda.  

We have also copied Priti Patel MP (The Secretary of State for the Home Department), Lord Harrington (Minister for Refugees), Keir Starmer MP (The Leader of Her Majesty’s Official Opposition),Kevin Foster MP (Minister for Safe and Legal Migration), Tom Pursglove MP (Minister for Justice and Tackling Illegal Migration), the Foreign Affairs Committee in DR Congo crisis, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration and Elizabeth Truss MP (the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs). 

We look forward to hearing from Mr, the Prime Minister, and please accept the assurance of my high consideration. 

Yours faithfully 

ALOMO LINGOMBA, Territorial Representative, APARECO-UK 

Ishiaba kasonga, Territorial Advisor in charge of Public Relation and Spokesperson , APARECO-UK 

Serge Egola Angbakodolo, Urban Representative of APARECO-SOUTH/ENGLAND, Member of Congolese community in the Great Britain

(email addresses included)

Updated 30 June 2022: Peaceful sit-in in front Arsenal stadium held today in London.

The Congolese community in the UK would like the English Premiere league club  Arsenal to remove “Visit Rwanda” logo on their t-shirt

Updated 27 June 2022: Stop Rwanda Flights: demonstration in London on 19 July 2022

Care4Calais: On Tuesday 19 July 2022, we will go to court again for the hearing to decide whether the Rwanda policy itself is lawful. [Note: this is changed to 5 September 2022]

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This demonstration is called jointly by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Care4Calais, Stand Up To Racism and supported by unions including PCS Union, UNISON, Unite the union, National Geographic Education, GMB Union, The Communication Workers Union, Fire Brigades Union, NASUWT, ASLEF – The UK Train Drivers’ Union, UCU – University and College Union and Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union – BFAWU, as well as Refugee Council, @Citizenship Coalition, Amnesty International UK, StatusNow4All.

Tuesday 19 July will be a day of action where in workplaces, colleges and communities we are asking you to join the 11am – 12 noon Twitterstorm, by holding up posters for selfies and sharing your pictures on all social media platforms, especially Twitter, with using #StopRwanda

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Updated 25 June 2022: Guardian: Rwanda making preparations to take children removed from UK

Hostel in Kigali building football pitches and providing outdoor toys for any children flown to the country

A hostel that has been leased by the Rwandan government to house asylum seekers from the UK is making preparations to accept children.

The Hope hostel in Kigali is building outdoor facilities that will include football pitches, basketball courts and outdoor toys for any children who are flown to the east African country.

The manager, Elisee Kalyango, confirmed that he was improving facilities for children who could be among those brought from the UK to the 50-room, three-star hotel in the Kagugu district of the city.

Under plans announced by Boris Johnson, the UK will send “tens of thousands” of asylum seekers to Rwanda, where they will be expected to start a new life. The UK has made a £120m downpayment on the scheme.

Part of that money is to pay hotel owners for a year-long lease for their properties to be used just for UK asylum seekers.

The Hope hostel currently stands empty after an 11th-hour intervention by a European court stopped the inaugural deportation flight two weeks ago. Outside, builders were working on pitches for the use of adults and children.

Kalyango confirmed they were taking steps to prepare for the arrival of children under the policy, and said: “We are ready to handle people from any age.”

They were building a “mini football and basketball court, which can be shifted to volleyball” and he said toys could be placed on the lawn.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/jun/24/childrens-facilities-rwanda-hostel-uk-asylum-seekers

See also the interview of the Home Affairs Committee 22 June 2022 on the work of the Home Office:

Q346       Paula Barker: One of our previous visits was to Dover, before we went to Sheffield. We spoke to staff there, and they said that with Rwanda at present it would be single men. We asked whether or not that would ever be rolled out to single women and to families. Are there any plans to roll it out to women and families?

Matthew Rycroft: First, I thank the Committee members for going to Dover. I think it is valuable that you were able to do that as well as the Sheffield trip earlier, and I would obviously encourage other trips like that.

Paula Barker: We plan to have lots of trips to see what the Home Office is up to.

Matthew Rycroft: I think it is a really good way of understanding each other, so thank you for your commitment to doing that. I think it is fair to say that the vast majority of people to be relocated to Rwanda will be single men, but obviously we have not relocated anyone to Rwanda yet so I think we need to give this time to work out. We are still in the foothills of implementing this policy.

Q347       Ms Abbott: The vast majority? Are you saying, therefore, that some could be women and families?

Matthew Rycroft: All of the 47 who received removal notices on the first attempted flight last week were single men, and that is where we are starting with the policy.

Q348       Paula Barker: Starting? So you are not ruling out women and families?

Matthew Rycroft: I think I am right in saying that we have not ruled out women.


Updated 22 June 2022: BBC: Plan to reverse European Court Rwanda rulings

The European Court of Human Rights block on sending asylum seekers to Rwanda could be overturned by ministers under new proposals.

The plan, being introduced to Parliament, would allow ministers to ignore the court’s injunctions.

It is an addition to planned changes to the Human Rights Act, and could also affect future cases involving migrants.

Critics say the proposals are confusing and would create two tiers of rights that hand more power to ministers.

But Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said his proposed Bill of Rights fixed problems with the Human Rights Act without abandoning it altogether.

Unveiling the plans, Mr Raab confirmed the government would not quit the European Convention on Human Rights, a set of legal safeguards allowing ordinary people to challenge what they say is unfair treatment by the government.

The Human Rights Act came into force in 2000. It introduced into UK law rights contained in the Convention – a treaty largely written by British civil servants and lawyers after World War Two and agreed by almost every nation in Europe.

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-61887933

Updated 21 June 2022: See also this post:


16 June 2022: Guardian: Rwanda refugee policy is like the rendition of slaves in the 1800s

Prof Julia O’Connell Davidson likens the government’s plans to deport asylum seekers to the forced returns facilitated by the Fugitive Slave Act in the US. Plus a letter from Mark Stephens

Priti Patel claims that the policy of deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda is a means to combat criminal gangs involved in people trafficking – a form of modern-day slavery. Yet, unlike African victims of the transatlantic slave trade, the people described as trafficked today actively want to move, and for very good reason.

A better historical comparison is with people who tried to escape from slavery. Like “fugitive slaves”, they move in search of greater freedom. Through this lens, Patel’s Rwanda policy looks more like the forms of rendition facilitated by the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act in the US, whereby those who escaped were more readily returned to the condition they had fled.

Had she been present at the time, presumably Patel would not have been disappointed by the Massachusetts court that ruled in 1854 that Anthony Burns, a refugee from slavery, could be forcibly returned to his “owner” in Virginia. Burns had, after all, made an illegal border crossing to escape. But in the words of Henry David Thoreau, Burns’ rendition revealed the state of Massachusetts as “morally covered with volcanic scoriae and cinders”. With perhaps even greater resonance for Britain today, he continued: “If there is any hell more unprincipled than our rulers … I feel curious to see it.”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/jun/16/rwanda-refugee-policy-is-like-the-rendition-of-slaves-in-the-1800s


Last night, at the 11th hour, five men were stopped from boarding a flight to Rwanda. In the morning, seven had been expecting to be on the plane. Through the day, four of those seven made individual claims to the British courts to stop them being forcibly sent. Three more men had their deportations stopped by an intervention by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

This meant there was no deportation to Rwanda yesterday.

The ECHR gave four main reasons for its decision:

– The Evidence from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees that asylum seekers in Rwanda would not have access to a fair and efficient process to determine their asylum claim.

– That the UK courts had acknowledged that this evidence raised very serious issues, even though they decided not the stop the removal.

– That enforcing human rights in Rwanda would be difficult as Rwanda is not part of the European Convention on Human Rights.

– That there is no legally-enforceable way of ensuring someone would be returned to the UK if the policy was found unlawful.

Because of this, the ECHR was satisfied that there was a real and imminent risk of severe and irreversible harm, and so it ordered that the individuals should not be removed from the UK.

This was a great relief for us, for the individuals concerned and for their families. However, it is by no means over yet. The important hearing is the one in July. In July we will go to court again for the court to decide whether the Rwanda policy itself is lawful. This will be an incredibly important decision for many refugees, and for the future of the UK.

We think this policy is utterly barbaric and, given there are more humane and effective alternatives available, a stain on our nation’s history. If the Government truly wanted to stop people smugglers and save lives they would give other refugees visas to cross the Channel in a similar way to Ukrainians. With these visas, refugees could then claim asylum on arrival in the UK. This would put people smugglers out of business overnight. We have not seen any Ukrainians getting in small boats or paying people smugglers, so we know this could work.

Right now people are coming anyway, but there is no control and they are taking dangerous risks. Visas would mean we know exactly who is coming. People smugglers would no longer make money.

They should never have been put through the hell of the last few days. We must remember that every single refugee is a victim of the worst things on this planet. They need our help and our compassion as human beings. Using them as political pawns is unforgivable. Our lawyers are working hard to get them released. But we know the Government will work harder than ever to deport more people just like them.

Last night was the culmination of dedicated people working long days and nights with no breaks or weekends. We are incredibly proud of our volunteers, some of whom are refugees themselves. This will be a long hard fight. You can support their work here:

Guardian: What is the ECHR and how did it intervene in UK’s Rwanda flight plans?

International court that grounded deportation flight was established in 1953 to stop human rights abuses

After the first deportation flight of asylum seekers to Rwanda was abandoned following a dramatic 11th-hour intervention from the European court of human rights, the government insisted it was only a “temporary setback”. As some Conservative MPs are expected to renew calls for the UK to withdraw from the ECHR, here are some key questions surrounding its role in this case.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/law/2022/jun/15/what-is-the-echr-and-how-did-it-intervene-in-uk-rwanda-flight-plans

15 June 2022: Politico: The next hole in UK’s Rwanda asylum plan: Conflict in Congo

In a dramatic military escalation, Kinshasa accuses Kigali of backing a rebel group and seizing a border town.

LONDON/BUKAVU, Congo — Lawyers aren’t the only obstacle to Boris Johnson’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

The U.K. prime minister will soon also have to grapple with the fallout of a dramatically escalating regional conflict that Rwanda is accused of stoking in the east of neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Britain’s first planned flight transporting refugees more than 4,000 miles away to Kigali was ultimately canceled on Tuesday night after an 11th-hour intervention from the European Court of Human Rights. Undeterred by farcical scenes of passengers being pulled from the plane one-by-one in the minutes before take-off was scheduled, Johnson’s government is vowing to press ahead with its highly contentious new migration policy.

Denis Mukwege, a gynecologist who won a Nobel prize for his work combating sexual violence in conflict zones, said an increasing number of victims were heading to his clinic in eastern Congo and pointed the finger squarely at Kigali. “Rwanda is hoping that everyone will look at the Ukraine war and that it will be left alone here,” he told POLITICO at the Panzi hospital in Bukavu.

Read more: https://www.politico.eu/article/uk-deportation-plan-rwanda-fighters-congo/

14 June 2022 14 June 2022 10.12pm: Care4Calais@Care4Calais· BREAKING: Last ticket cancelled. NO ONE IS GOING TO RWANDA

Jessica Simor QC @JMPSimor

Breaking: European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg grants rule 39 request to stop the flight to Rwanda from leaving. Basis: real risk of inhuman and degrading treatment (Art. 3 ECHR). Please share – government must comply.

This is in relation to one individual but the ruling contains a generic test that would apply to any of the applicants who have pending legal proceedings, which is likely all of them in so far as they have sought interim injunctions (ie until their cases are heard).

7.45pm: Guardian: Rwanda asylum flight in doubt after 11th-hour ECHR intervention

Lawyers make successful emergency application to European court that could lead to grounding of first flight

In an initial decision, a letter from the court has stated that the asylum seeker should not be removed on Tuesday evening. Sources have claimed that the grounds cited apply to all asylum seekers facing removal so all asylum seekers due to board the plane tonight can rely on this decision from the court.The court said it took particular account of evidence from UNHCR that asylum seekers transferred from the UK to Rwanda will not have access to fair and efficient procedures for the determination. The decision also cited the ruling by Mr Justice Swift, who although he refused to grant an injunction to halt tonight’s flight said the question about whether to treat Rwanda as a safe third country was irrational or based on ‘insufficient enquiry’ gave rise to “serious triable issues”.More details soon …

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/jun/14/european-court-humam-right-makes-11th-hour-intervention-in-rwanda-asylum-seeker-plan

The Bar Council: @TheBarCouncil

Read more: https://twitter.com/thebarcouncil/status/1536732488827035648/photo/1

Independent: ECHR confirms ‘interim measures’ to block removal of asylum seeker to Rwanda

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has confirmed its decision to block the sending of an asylum-seeker facing imminent removal to Rwanda, bringing the total number of people left on the flight departing for the African country tonight to six.

The urgent intervention by the ECHR, requested yesterday, is in relation to an Iraqi national who came to the UK on 17 May this year.

The interim measures indicated that the removal of the individual may not go ahead until “three weeks after the delivery of the final domestic decision in his ongoing judicial review proceedings,” the ECHR said.

Its statement reads: “Under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, the Court may indicate interim measures to any State Party to the European Convention on Human Rights. Measures under Rule 39 are decided in connection with proceedings before the Court, without prejudging any subsequent decisions on the admissibility or merits of the case.

“The Court grants such requests only on an exceptional basis, when the applicants would otherwise face a real risk of irreversible harm. For further information, see the factsheet on interim measures.”

The Home Office was approached for comment, but declined.

Read more: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/rwanda-refugees-flight-latest-priti-patel-b2100383.html

If you only do one thing today, make it this…

So it appears that Privilege Style (what a name) airline is up to its neck in Priti Patel’s inhumane Rwanda policy (aka offshoring some of the world’s most vulnerable people).
Email the owner and the company to express your disgust and tell them to pull out.
The owner of Privilege Style is Chema Alvarez, e-mail address Chema@privilegestyle.com

Marketing: communication@privilegestyle.com
Commercial: sales@privilegestyle.com
Information: privilege@privilegestyle.com
Not in my name.

The government is plotting to send people fleeing torture and war to Rwanda. But they need planes to fly people – and airlines can choose whether to play a part. That’s where we come in.

Small private airlines aren’t used to getting attention, if thousands of us get in touch, they’ll realise just how damaging this cruelty would be for their public image.

Let’s flood the inboxes of the airlines with emails. The first plane could leave within weeks – but it can’t happen if these airlines refuse. https://secure.freedomfromtorture.org/page/107146/action/1

14 June 2022: Guardian: We are the civil servants who put up ‘Go home Paddington’ notices in revolt

Secret Home Office staffer

The Rwanda deportation plan has pushed us over the edge. So we are resisting, and invite our colleagues to stand up for their principles

Like many civil servants, I joined because of the principles. We work here because we want to serve the public, to make vital services work well, and to help people. I work with dedicated, skilled and compassionate people. We understand that we aren’t the politicians; we just want to get on and make things work for the public.

But at the Home Office, it is unavoidably clear that the things we are now ordered to put into place – from borders to policing to immigration enforcement – are doing real harm to many people. As the report on the historical roots of the Windrush scandal showed, the Home Office has a long and ugly history of structural racism, with UK immigration policy shaped for decades to try to minimise the number of black and minority ethnic people in this country.

So it is little surprise that the barbaric Rwanda transportation plan – to forcibly fly people who have escaped trauma and horror to another continent – is presented to us by senior fellow civil servants as “humanitarian”. The laughably absurd idea that it has anything to do with preventing people smugglers is repeated with a straight face.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jun/13/civil-servants-go-home-paddington-revolt-rwanda-deportation

BBC: The first flight taking asylum seekers to Rwanda will take off and people who are not removed on Tuesday will be on subsequent flights, Liz Truss has said.

The foreign secretary said it would “establish the principle” and break people traffickers’ business models.

[It’s interesting that in an earlier version of this story, the BBC wrote’

The charter flight, operated by airline Privilege Style, is estimated to be costing the government £500,000 They will get accommodation and support while the Rwandan government considers their….’,

but that has been removed]

Seven or eight people are due to be removed on Tuesday, after dozens won legal cases to be taken off. But more legal challenges are set to be heard.

Church of England leaders described the plan as an “immoral policy”.

Three more legal challenges from people set to be flown to the east African nation’s capital Kigali are expected to be heard in the courts before the flight departs.

A last-ditch attempt to block the flight altogether was rejected by the Court of Appeal on Monday, however.

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-61791994

The Times: Church says sending migrants to Rwanda brings shame on Britain

The entire senior leadership of the Church of England has denounced the Rwanda migrant flights as an “immoral policy that shames Britain”.

An excoriating letter to The Times, signed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and all of the other 23 bishops’ sitting as Lords Spiritual in the House of Lords, states: “Whether or not the first deportation flight leaves Britain today for Rwanda, this policy should shame us as a nation.”

It adds that “the shame is our own, because our Christian heritage should inspire us to treat asylum seekers with compassion, fairness and justice, as we have for centuries”.

Read more: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/prospects-for-rwanda-flight-slim-httc7s007

13 June 2022: Guardian: Children deemed adults by Home Office could be deported to Rwanda

Children’s and refugees charities raise concerns after detention of three children misjudged as adults in offshoring programme

Concerns are mounting that children wrongly assessed as adults by the Home Office could end up being offshored to Rwanda.

The Guardian understands that three age-disputed children who the Home Office declared to be adults and detained in preparation for offshoring to Rwanda have now been released. It is understood that concerns have been raised about whether at least three more detainees threatened with removal to the east African country are children rather than adults.

A letter signed by members of the Refugee and Migrant Children’s Consortium including the Children’s Society, Refugee Council and ECPAT is being sent to the home secretary, Priti Patel.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/13/children-deemed-adults-by-home-office-could-be-deported-to-rwanda

Updated 10 June 2022: Care4Calais: The High Court has denied an injunction seeking to stop next week’s planned flight of asylum seekers to Rwanda.

He says that each case should be considered on an individual basis and there is no need for an injunction.However, as a result of today’s case six refugees have had their directions to be sent to Rwanda cancelled. This shows how important it is that no one is deported until the lawfulness of the policy is fully examined. Some of the refugees do not yet have legal representation. They are at risk of being deported by a policy that may ultimately be found to be unlawful. We are therefore considering an urgent appeal.

This is an extremely disappointing outcome and we are deeply concerned for the welfare of the people who may be forcibly deported to Rwanda, a fate that could profoundly harm their mental health and future lives. However, today was just the beginning of this legal challenge and we believe that the next stage may bring an end to this utterly barbaric plan.

There are other, more humane and more effective ways to both save lives and combat people smugglers. As compassionate people, we need to ask ourselves if an unnecessarily brutal and cruel plan like Rwanda is really what we want to do.

During the hearing UNHCR explained several reasons why they consider that the policy is unlawful. We now need the courts to do the right thing and agree. Today’s decision was on the granting of interim relief. This is not the Court’s decision on the lawfulness of the Rwanda policy, which will be determined at a final hearing.

We need your help more than ever to #StopRwanda.

Please go to care4calais.org/stop-rwanda/

The Times: Prince Charles: Flying migrants to Rwanda is ‘appalling’

Prince speaks out before Commonwealth summit as judge rules first deportations can go ahead

The Prince of Wales has privately described the government’s policy to send migrants to Rwanda as “appalling”, The Times has been told.

Prince Charles is said to be particularly frustrated at Boris Johnson’s asylum policy as he is due to represent the Queen at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, this month.

Migrants who arrive in Britain illegally face being deported to Rwanda, more than 4,000 miles away, under a deal struck by Priti Patel, the home secretary, in April.

Today Patel overcame an initial legal challenge to the policy after a High Court judge ruled that the first flight due to deport migrants on Tuesday could go ahead.

A source had heard Charles, 73, expressing opposition to the policy several times in private and said he was particularly uncomfortable about it amid fears that it would overshadow the summit on June 23.

“He said he was more than disappointed at the policy,” the source said. “He said he thinks the government’s whole approach is appalling. It was clear he was not impressed with the government’s direction of travel.”

Clarence House did not deny that Charles was opposed to the policy but insisted that he had not tried to influence the government. A spokesman said: “We would not comment on supposed anonymous private conversations with the Prince of Wales, except to restate that he remains politically neutral. Matters of policy are decisions for government.”

Read more: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/prince-charles-flying-migrants-to-rwanda-is-appalling-l6jzklfhm

Freemovement: leaflet: How to respond to Rwanda removal notices

Telegraph: Asylum seekers resettled in Rwanda under EU scheme abandoned to poverty

Refugees tell the Telegraph there is not enough food, housing, medical services and other basic necessities

Asylum seekers in Rwanda have said they have been left in a “traumatising” poverty-stricken limbo for years, barely able to afford clothes and constantly in fear of the country’s brutal security forces, an investigation by The Telegraph has found.

As the Home Office prepares to send the first batch of asylum seekers 4,000 miles south on a one-way ticket to Rwanda on Tuesday 14 June, this newspaper sent journalists to investigate what was happening in the police state.

Read more: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/climate-and-people/asylum-seekers-resettled-rwanda-eu-scheme-abandoned-poverty/

Updated 8 June 2022: PCS: PCS and human rights groups challenge home secretary’s Rwanda removal policy in High Court

PCS, Care4Calais and Detention Action, along with 4 asylum seekers facing removal by plane to Rwanda on Tuesday, have now issued judicial review proceedings in the High Court, challenging the home secretary’s plan to remove asylum-seekers to Rwanda.

The claimants, represented by Duncan Lewis Solicitors, argue that the Rwanda removals policy, as well as the removals of the 4 individual asylum seekers specifically, are unlawful on multiple bases. These include, but are not limited to:

  • the viresor legal authority of the home secretary to carry outthe removals;
  • the rationality of the secretary of state’s conclusion that Rwanda is generally a “safe third country”;
  • the adequacy of provision for malaria prevention, and compliance with the Human Rights Act.

The claim has been issued as a matter of urgency, following Priti Patel’s scheduling of the first removal flight to Rwanda on Tuesday (14 June) and her refusal to give assurances that no removals to Rwanda would take place until the lawfulness of the Rwandan removals policy has been tested in court.

The claimants also seek an injunction in respect of the flight scheduled for 14 June.

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said: “PCS believes that the government’s Rwanda plan is unlawful. In the past 5 years, we have lodged five judicial review applications against the government where they have breached the law. We are determined to hold them to account over this latest scheme.

“It appears this government have learned nothing from the Windrush scandal, among others. PCS is not prepared to countenance our members being put in potentially dangerous and traumatic situations, where they may be asked to act illegally.

“PCS is determined to work for a more humane environment on asylum and immigration. This would give our members the time, space and resources that they need to carry out their jobs properly and would improve the experience of refugees. This latest judicial review application is key to that endeavour.” 

James Wilson, deputy director of Detention Action, said: “In her desire to punish people for seeking asylum by forcing them on to a plane to Rwanda, Priti Patel has overstepped her authority.

“By rushing through what we say is an unlawful policy, she is turning a blind eye to the many clear dangers and human rights violations that it would inflict on people seeking asylum.

“It’s vital that new government policies respect and uphold the laws that we all, as a society, have agreed to follow. That’s why we’re seeking an injunction to keep this plane to Rwanda from leaving the runway.”

Clare Moseley, founder of Care4Calais, said: “We have spoken to nearly 100 people in detention who’ve been told they will be forcibly sent to Rwanda. Almost all are overwhelmed by total shock and despair.

“Many came to the UK believing it to be a good place that would treat them more fairly than the places from which they escaped.

“We say that the Rwanda plan is unlawful. We hope the courts will agree with us.”


Guardian: Home Office’s Rwanda deportation plans face high court challenge

About 130 asylum seekers expected to be sent to Rwanda on 14 June

Priti Patel’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda as soon as next week is facing a legal challenge under emergency proceedings launched in the high court on Wednesday.

An application for a judicial review claims that the home secretary’s policy is unlawful. Claimants are also seeking an injunction that will attempt to stop the plane from taking off.

It is the first legal challenge of the policy to have been officially put before the courts, and comes as Boris Johnson is under pressure from his own MPs to demonstrate a policy success.

With less than a week until the flight on 14 June, up to 130 asylum seekers are expected to be flown one way to Rwanda and encouraged to apply for asylum there.

The judicial review has been launched by the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), the charity Care4Calais and the pressure group Detention Action, along with four asylum seekers facing removal to the east African state.

The policy, which was unveiled by Johnson, will be challenged over Patel’s right to carry out such removals; the rationality of Patel’s claim that Rwanda is generally a “safe third country”; the adequacy of provision for malaria prevention in Rwanda; and whether it complies with the Human Rights Act.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/jun/08/home-offices-rwanda-deportation-plans-face-high-court-challenge

Updated 7 June 2022: Facing Rwanda

The illustrations are of men on a list to be deported to Rwanda, a country they’ve never been to, where they have no family or friends, no connection at all. The drawings are based on photos sent by the men’s families, some showing them at home with their children before leaving, or saying goodbye, or in the course of their journeys.

The Home Office plans to forcibly deport them on the 14th of June.

These men came to the UK seeking safety. They are nine out of a hundred on the Home Office’s list. The hundred include survivors of torture, and of modern slavery. These hundred were picked by the UK authorities to be made an example of, picked out of hundreds more who have recently crossed the English Channel in small boats.

Read more: https://www.syrianotes.org/2022/06/facing-rwanda.html

MSN: Rwanda’s own refugees warn deal with ‘conman’ Kagame shows UK doesn’t care what happens overseas

In a week’s time on 14 June, the first flight of refugees seeking asylum in the UK is set to depart to Kigali, Rwanda. The idea is that from there, these refugees, mostly from Syria, will be processed and offered the right to settle in the east African country.

Yet Rwanda has created, and continues to create, countless refugees of its own. At least 287,000 Rwandans live outside the country, having fled from the regime of President Paul Kagame – and it is estimated the figure could be as high as one million.

“Kagame is a stooge: he’s a conman of the West in dubious business including, now, human trafficking,” is how one such Rwandan exile describes the president and his £120m deal with the UK Government.

Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/rwanda-s-own-refugees-warn-deal-with-conman-kagame-shows-uk-doesn-t-care-what-happens-overseas/ar-AAYakAD

Updated 5 June 2022: Guardian: UK accused of attempting to deport children to Rwanda

Charities claim asylum seekers under 18 being classed as adults under Home Office age assessments

The Home Office has been accused of attempting to deport unaccompanied 16-year-olds to Rwanda in the first wave of asylum seekers to be sent to east Africa later this month.

Charities have identified what they describe as a “worrying pattern” of children being classed as adults by Home Office age assessments, raising fears they could be among those deported 4,500 miles to Rwanda.

One individual who said they were under 18 was placed in detention awaiting potential deportation to Rwanda and only released at the end of May, following intervention from lawyers.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/05/uk-accused-of-attempting-to-deport-children-to-rwanda

Updated 2 June 2022: Freemovement leaflet: How to respond to Rwanda removal notices

Asylum seekers arriving by boat have started to receive notices informing them of the UK government’s intention to remove them to Rwanda pursuant to the “Migration and Economic Development Partnership” announced last month. We learned yesterday that the Home Office wishes to begin removing people on 14 June. This article offers some practical suggestions on how representatives may wish to respond to notices of intent, based on my own experience and research so far.

These notices are not decisions or removal directions. If the person served with the notice is in detention, they are told that they must respond within seven days. If they are not in detention, the deadline is 14 days. The shorter timeframe for people in detention is presumably because of the supposition that legal advice is available through the Detained Duty Advice Scheme. The problems with this are well-known.

The notice should be accompanied by an information leaflet (download a copy or see below).

Read more: https://freemovement.org.uk/notice-of-intention-removal-to-rwanda-information-leaflet/

A reminder about vaccinations for people threatened with removal from UK, using Rwanda as an example: Malaria is endemic in Rwanda.  Up to 20% of children die of it before age five.  Those who remain are mostly immune.  However new arrivals who have not previously suffered it are likely to get it, unless they are protected.  Among the many legal challenges to the government’s policy of sending people to Ruanda will be one concerning malaria protection.  This danger is worth mentioning to anyone in immigration removal centres.

Care4Calais: STOP RWANDA: What you can do to help

Donate: Donate to our Crowdfunder for legal fees to challenge the Rwanda plan in court. We are raising funds for our own legal costs, and to protect us from paying the Home Office’s legal fees if the case gets to court and we don’t win. Donate now

Read more: https://care4calais.org/stop-rwanda/

Updated 1 June 2022: The Times: ‘Everyone knows that we have a dictatorship in Rwanda. That is not a secret’

The country’s opposition leader — jailed for eight years — attacks the Tories’ asylum plan and says her nation is no democracy

The British government is betraying the democratic values of the Commonwealth by deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda, the repressive African country’s opposition leader has said.

Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza spent eight years in prison — five in solitary — after returning from exile to challenge Paul Kagame, the long-serving president, in the 2010 election. She was arrested that year and convicted of genocide denial and conspiring against the government in what human rights groups called a flawed trial. Following a presidential pardon and her release in 2018 she is living in the capital Kigali, where the Commonwealth heads of government meet next month. She cannot leave the country without permission, however, and must appear at a prosecution office once a month.

She is also unable to register her political party, Development and Liberty For All (Dalfa-Umurinzi) in Rwanda.

Ingabire, 53, criticised the British government for the deal, under which it will pay Rwanda to take in an unknown number of people who have come to the UK to claim asylum. “Everybody knows that we have a dictatorship in Rwanda. That is not a secret,” she said. “It is unacceptable that a democratic country sends refugees to a non-democratic country. That a rich country sends the refugees to the poor country saying we will give you money. The UK is the head of the Commonwealth. It is betraying the values that they pledge to everywhere, human rights, democracy, tolerance and respect, freedom of expression, the rule of law. They are all values Rwanda does not respect and I think now the UK government is in violation of the core values of the Commonwealth

Read more: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/everyone-knows-that-we-have-a-dictatorship-in-rwanda-that-is-not-a-secret-hrsd27w8f

Updated 31 May 2022: Zoe Gardner@ZoeJardiniere Syrians. It’s 15 Syrians who have been served with a removal notice that they’ll be sent away to Rwanda on 14 June.

We cannot stand for this barbarism. Syrians refugees, ALL refugees are welcome here. Zoe is Policy & Advocacy at JCWI

PCS on Twitter: @PCSPress

Responding to the Govt’s announcement it is to start sending refugees to Rwanda on June 14, @pcs_union said: “This policy is inhumane and impractical, and together with charities @DetentionAction and @Care4Calais, we shall continue to challenge it in the courts.”

Guardian: First Rwanda deportation flight to leave UK on 14 June, says Priti Patel

Group of asylum seekers sent formal notices advising they will be relocated to east African country, say officials

The first deportation flight to Rwanda carrying people who arrived in the UK without authorisation is scheduled to leave on 14 June, Priti Patel has announced.

A group of asylum seekers has been sent formal notices by the Home Office advising they will be relocated to the east African country, officials have said.

There remain few details about the numbers of people expected to be sent to Rwanda in this first flight, and how they have been identified. Officials said those who will be removed are already in detention, while the government is braced for a flurry of legal challenges over their removal.

“The Home Office has begun issuing formal removal direction letters to those who are set to go to Rwanda where they will be able to rebuild their lives in safety,” a statement from the department said.

It is the next legal step after “notices of intent” were issued to dozens of people who have arrived in the UK by irregular means.

The timing of the announcement will prompt suspicion. It comes amid growing pressure on Boris Johnson for a policy success, amid claims he could face a vote of no confidence as soon as next week.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/may/31/first-rwanda-deportation-flight-leave-uk-14-june-priti-patel

BBC: First flight taking Channel migrants to Rwanda set for 14 June

The first flight to Rwanda carrying migrants who cross the English Channel is set to leave in two weeks’ time on 14 June, the Home Office has said.

Officials have begun issuing formal directions to the first people set to be flown to the African country.

It is expected there will be legal challenges against the move.

The controversial plan has been criticised by politicians, charities and the Archbishop of Canterbury, who called it “opposite the nature of God”.

Under the five-year trial scheme, some asylum seekers who have arrived in the UK are being sent to Rwanda where their application will be processed.

While their application is considered they will be given accommodation and support and, if successful, they will be able to remain in Rwanda with up to five years’ access to education and support.

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-61653063

Updated 26 May 2022: Tribune: Priti Patel’s New Asylum Prisons

While anger is focused on the brutal Rwanda scheme, the Tories have also quietly announced new ‘camps’ to house asylum seekers in isolated locations in Britain – yet another attack on people seeking sanctuary.

[…] In half-following Greece’s suit, Britain now has the unenviable distinction of an asylum system that is two-tiered on the basis of nationality but universally dysfunctional, serving, ultimately, none of those seeking asylum here. The answer, of course, is not to scapegoat any one group of desperate people for the parallel desperation of another. It is to fight for non-discriminatory policies that operate on a genuine basis of international responsibility, and offer real refuge and compassion to all those fleeing war or persecution. Anything less is not enough.

Read more: https://tribunemag.co.uk/2022/05/linton-on-ouse-yorkshire-camp-refugees-asylum-seekers-rwanda-greece/

Updated 24 My 2022: Guardian: The UK’s view of Rwanda is deeply ignorant – I once fell prey to it myself

The refugee deal with President Kagame reveals a profound misunderstanding of history

It’s easy to fall prey to misconceptions about Rwanda. I’ve done so myself while writing about the small country – about twice the size of Yorkshire – to which we are dispatching our “migrant problem”.With flights to Kigali imminent, and the president, Paul Kagame, proposingalleged UK-based “génocidaires” be extradited to face trial, I wonder if we really understand what we’re getting into.

Faults in Priti Patel’s policy should not need rehearsing. Yet so great is western ignorance and amnesia about Rwanda (and the wider Great Lakes region of Africa) that the arguments against require reinforcement. For there has, since the genocide, been a “blank ahistoricism” about the country, as the Rwanda expert Michela Wrong has put it.Advertisement

The arguments against this devil’s bargain with the Rwandan government include: its assassination or abduction of rivals abroad, notably allegations surrounding the cases of Patrick Karegeya (Kagame’s former intelligence chief, strangled in a Johannesburg hotel – the government has denied any involvement) and Paul Rusesabagina (subject of the film Hotel Rwanda, tricked into flying to Rwanda from Texas); the suppression of activists and journalists within Rwanda; a poor history of hosting migrants (many Eritreans and Sudanese, sent from Israel, fled Rwanda for Uganda – others started the journey to Europe); a likely lack of oversight of UK funds (initially £120m) paid to Rwanda; and, not least, the difficulty of fending off challenges by – to use Johnson’s judiciary-hating phrase – “lefty lawyers”.

It’s fallacious to say, as Patel has done, that the policy is right simply because no one is offering alternatives. It’s instructive, too, that fellow Conservative Andrew Mitchellfirst among those few MPs who know Rwanda, does not support this policy. Maybe he agrees with David Davis that the scheme is “moral delinquency”. These are not the usual bedfellows of lefty lawyers.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/may/24/west-view-rwanda-uk-refugee-deal-president-kagame

Updated 23 May 2022:  Independent: ‘Fundamentally wrong’: Refugee charity prepares legal challenge to UK’s Rwanda asylum plan

Volunteer-led charity Care4Calais are preparing a legal challenge against the government over the Rwanda asylum plan, which will send asylum seekers arriving into the UK to Rwanda for processing and resettlement.

Care4Calais believe the scheme is a breach of the UK’s legal obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights and the Refugee Convention, and are building their challenge on these grounds.

The plan, enacted by Home Secretary Priti Patel, is initially targeted towards small boat male migrant crossings in the English channel, with the first deportation flights set for 6 June 2022.

{Please watch the video]


Updated 22 May 2022: Guardian: Home Office detains all asylum seekers it plans to send to Rwanda

Department says previously announced option of serving arrivals to UK with notices while living in community has not been used

All the asylum seekers whom ministers want to send to Rwanda have been placed in detention centres after arriving in the UK on small boats, the Home Office has confirmed.

When the government announced its controversial plans last month to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, officials said some of those issued with notices of intent that they would be offshored would be served with the notices while living in the community and would have 14 days to appeal against the decision. About 100 asylum seekers are thought to have been issued with notices of intent so far.

However, the Home Office has confirmed to the Guardian that everyone they want to send to Rwanda has been locked up in detention centres, with the community option not currently being used.

Many who arrive on small boats are in poor physical and mental condition, and some charities have reported that those detained for offshoring are traumatised, bewildered and do not understand what is happening to them.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/may/22/home-office-asylum-seekers-detention-centres-rwanda

Updated 20 May 2022: Rwanda:

Information on the Care4Calais website for people at risk, two leaflets with information in various languages, phone numbers – please pass the information on: https://care4calais.org/stop-rwanda/

Open Democracy: Is Johnson’s Rwanda plan a crime against humanity?

Possibly, yes.

The latest evolution of the UK government’s “hostile environment” for migrants is perhaps its most controversial yet. A deal signed last month by the UK home secretary, Priti Patel, and the Rwandan foreign minister, Vincent Biruta, aims to ‘offshore’ asylum seekers to central Africa for processing. If found to be genuine, they will not be brought back (as the term ‘processing’ implies). They will be offered a chance to settle in Rwanda – and Rwanda alone – instead.

The first 50 people, Boris Johnson has said, will leave in less than a fortnight.

Some commentators have said this plan is tantamount to human trafficking. I doubt that would stand up in court. Traffickers normally benefit materially from the movement of human beings, and under this plan the UK at least would incur a large material loss. The UK has so far committed to paying Rwanda £120 million for its participation, and some have estimated that it may cost as much as £2 million per person transferred. Another key element of trafficking is exploitation – sexually or of a person’s labour or organs. This could transpire given the dreadful human rights record of Paul Kagame’s Rwandan government, but we cannot yet be sure.

Read more: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/beyond-trafficking-and-slavery/is-johnsons-rwanda-plan-a-crime-against-humanity/

19 May 2022: ITV: Campaigners ‘relieved’ as Rwanda asylum seeker flights delayed until next month

The government has been forced to delay its first deportation flights to Rwanda after campaigners lodged a legal campaign against the controversial policy.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said last weekend that 50 asylum seekers have already been told they are due to be flown to the East African nation within a fortnight, which would be the end of May, but anticipated opposition to the move.

Campaigners said they received notice on Wednesday evening that the Rwanda flights will now not take place until at least June 6.

It comes as an inquiry is launched into the handling of the deal amid accusations of Parliament being bypassed.

Read more: https://www.itv.com/news/2022-05-19/campaigners-relieved-as-rwanda-asylum-seeker-flights-delayed-until-next-month

ITV: Inquiry launched into handling of controversial UK-Rwanda asylum seekers deal

An inquiry has been launched into the handling of a controversial plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda amid accusations of Parliament being bypassed.

Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town, who chairs the International Agreements Committee, lamented how the deal had not been debated or approved by Parliament before it was signed.The House of Lords heard this was because the type of deal, known as a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), is not legally binding.

However, peers argued that MoUs should not be used as a way around parliamentary scrutiny.

Labour’s Lady Hayter told the Lords: “Perhaps more importantly and certainly more urgently is the issue of deals being signed by way of Memoranda of Understanding rather than by treaty.

“This means they do not even have to be disclosed to Parliament, let alone laid and debated here.

“I raised this in a private notice question on April 25 in regard to the Rwanda deal – deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda.

“That was done by MoU without any debate or approval by Parliament.

“And I can tell the House that just today, this morning, the committee has launched an inquiry on this and we will have a call for evidence on the MoU on our website shortly.”

Read more: https://www.itv.com/news/2022-05-19/inquiry-launched-into-handling-of-controversial-uk-rwanda-asylum-seekers-deal

Updated 14 May 2022: BBC: Boris Johnson: Fifty migrants told they will be sent to Rwanda

[What kind of language is this from a Prime Minister who would hopefully respect the law, and the Court system: Mr Johnson told the Mail: “There’s going to be a lot of legal opposition from the types of firms that for a long time have been taking taxpayers’ money to mount these sort of cases, and to thwart the will of the people, the will of Parliament. We’re ready for that.

“We will dig in for the fight and we will make it work,” he added. “We’ve got a huge flowchart of things we have to do to deal with it, with the leftie lawyers.”]

Fifty migrants have been told they will be the first to be sent to Rwanda in east Africa as part of the government’s controversial resettlement policy.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Boris Johnson revealed the figure, saying he expected a lot of legal opposition but insisted the government would “dig in for the fight”.

Under a new deal, people judged to have entered the UK illegally now face being flown to Rwanda for resettlement.

The policy has been widely criticised.

Among its critics are more than 160 charities, the Archbishop of Canterbury, opposition parties and senior Conservative Party backbenchers, including former Prime Minister Theresa May.

Together they have raised questions about the ethics, legality, cost and efficacy of the policy.

Aid agencies have reported several asylum seekers in the UK going into hiding because of fears they would be sent to Rwanda.

The threat of removal has also prompted some to self-harm, with one attempting suicide, the Red Cross and the Refugee Council said.

Small boat crossings have continued, however. The latest available government figures show 792 migrants arrived in small boats in the week from 2 to 8 May.

Earlier this week, the Home Office said it planned to start informing the first migrants whom it wanted to remove to Rwanda. Among them would be people who had crossed the Channel, the department said.

In his interview, Mr Johnson said 50 “notices of intent” have now been issued. This marks the first stage of the process.

Those people will have between seven and 14 days to lodge objections.

It is widely expected there will be legal challenges to the plans. Home Secretary Priti Patel has said that would mean the process would “take time” but insisted she would not be deterred.

‘Huge flowchart’

Mr Johnson told the Mail: “There’s going to be a lot of legal opposition from the types of firms that for a long time have been taking taxpayers’ money to mount these sort of cases, and to thwart the will of the people, the will of Parliament. We’re ready for that.

“We will dig in for the fight and we will make it work,” he added. “We’ve got a huge flowchart of things we have to do to deal with it, with the leftie lawyers.”

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-61447106

Updated 13 May 2022: Please tweet and also use this hashtag #RefugeeMentalHealth This is an open letter written in response to RCGP chair about Rwanda deportation.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (sic) to do nothing’ are the words of, Edmund Burke, a philosopher that Martin Marshall, RCGP chair, chose to start his recent blog ‘Just Saying,’ calling out the British government on its plan to dispense with asylum seekers by deporting them to Rwanda.1
As GPs and hospital doctors we have been advocating on our migrant patients’ behalf since the early days of the hostile environment in 2015, when the inhumane and unethical NHS charging regulations came into place.

However, we have rarely witnessed our NHS leaders speaking out against these issues.

Read more: https://bjgplife.com/open-letter-to-bjgp-life-a-response-to-rcgp-chairs-just-saying-on-refugees-to-the-uk-being-deported-to-rwanda/

Updated 12 May 2022: Home Affairs Committee: Oral evidence: Asylum and migration, HC ­197 Wednesday 11 May 2022

Ordered by the House of Commons to be published on 11 May 2022.

Watch the meeting

Witnesses: Tom Pursglove MP, Minister for Justice and Tackling Illegal Immigration, Home Office; and Dan Hobbs, Director, Asylum, Protection and Enforcement, Home Office.

Examination of witnesses

Witnesses: Tom Pursglove MP and Dan Hobbs.

Q1                Chair: Good morning, and welcome to Home Office Minister Tom Pursglove MP and Dan Hobbs, Director of Asylum, Protection and Enforcement at the Home Office. We are grateful to you both for attending this morning.

Today we want to look specifically at the announcement last month of the UK-Rwanda partnership agreement concerning asylum seekers. We will move on to specific questions about the policy, but I want to start with the actual announcement and the way it was made. The announcement was made on 14 April, which was just at the start of the purdah period for the local elections on 5 May. Minister, could you enlighten us about the exchange of letters between the permanent secretary and the Home Secretary that took place on 13 April, the day before, and concerned the ministerial direction that the permanent secretary sought from the Home Secretary? It all seems very late in the day if the announcement was to be made on 14 April. Could you explain why there was a rush to get the policy out—in particular with no detail?

Tom Pursglove: Thank you, Madam Chairman, for the invitation to appear before the Committee this morning. Can I congratulate you on your appointment to the Chair? It is a privilege to be here and give evidence on this important issue.

Let me just set this in some perspective. As a Government, we have been consistently clear that we cannot continue to have people putting their lives in the hands of evil criminal gangs and paying money to those evil criminal gangs to facilitate these crossings. We have said that we will strain every sinew to put a stop to that evil criminality.

I would argue that it was right that we signed this new partnership at the first opportunity we had to do so. Every day that passes without it is a day when lives can potentially be lost in the channel. We wanted to waste no opportunity to crack on and get on with delivering this partnership. The partnership is complex, of course, and there has been intensive negotiation and discussion around it over the course of the last few months. Those negotiations concluded, at which point we were in a position to get on and sign it. That is precisely why we acted in the way that we did, wasting no opportunity to do that.

Q2                Chair: But there was no detail available, was there? It was the BBC, the Telegraph and The Times that all got briefed on what they thought the policy was. None of that detail was available to Parliament for MPs to look at. I notice that it was only on Monday this week that the Home Office produced documents setting out the detail of the policy. You will understand that there was a lot of concern. A lot of the charities that work with asylum seekers and refugees in this country have raised the problem that by making that announcement on 14 April with no proper detail, you caused a lot of distress and upset. In today’s media round, for example, there was reference to a Rwandan asylum seeker in this country who heard that announcement and thought that would mean he would be sent back to Rwanda. What I do not understand is why you made that announcement on 14 April with no detail about how this policy would work. Why has it taken you three weeks to produce the detail?

Tom Pursglove: You will know, of course, that the announcement was made as part of a wider package of measures that the Prime Minister set out in Kent. Of course, the Home Secretary was in Rwanda at the same time and was able to announce this policy.

Q3                Chair: But where was the detail? That is the issue.

Tom Pursglove: We have taken great care to make sure that the detail underpinning this policy has been made available as far as we are able—

Chair: But three weeks later.

Tom Pursglove: —taking into account, of course, that we do not want—I think you will recognise why this is important—to do anything that aids these evil criminal gangs to exploit vulnerable people. It is right that we tread carefully in delivering the detail of the policy in a way that is sensitive to that and that doesn’t support that sort of criminality, which is so egregious and unacceptable.

Q4                Chair: I understand what you are saying, but the three weeks has caused problems—concern—for asylum seekers in this country, and it just seems to us that Parliament should have had that detail when the announcement was made.

The other point I want to raise with you is about Wendy Williams and her review of how the Home Office operates. One of the things she was very clear about was the Home Office failure, in the past, to always look at the “face behind the case”. This is, again, illustrative of that failure to understand that this is about individuals—about people. By making these announcements giving no detail, you set lots of hares running, but it has taken you three weeks to actually come up with the details.

Read more: https://committees.parliament.uk/oralevidence/10195/html/

Updated 10 May 2022: Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration – is publicising a new project: The IAGCI invites tenders to evaluate Home Office Country Information Products on Rwanda (one way to assess the information held by officials about Rwanda)

Potential reviewers are invited to submit expressions of interest by the close of Monday, 30 May 2022.

Description of work:
Country Policy and Information Notes aim to provide an accurate, balanced and up-to-date summary of the key available sources regarding conditions in the country covered. The purpose and scope of the reports are clearly set out in an introductory section of the document. Reviewers should evaluate the reports in this context and seek to identify any areas where they can be improved.

Specifically, the review should entail:

  • assessing the extent to which information from source documents has been appropriately and accurately reflected in the CPIN reports
  • identifying additional sources detailing relevant aspects of current conditions in the country
  • noting and correcting any specific errors or omissions of fact making recommendations for general improvements regarding, for example, the structure of the report, its coverage or its overall approach ensuring no reference is made to an individual source which could expose them to risk


Guardian: Priti Patel blames lawyers as she admits Rwanda plan will ‘take time’

Home secretary attacks ‘specialist lawyers’ as Labour calls delayed plan little more than a press release

Priti Patel has admitted that it will take time to establish the government’s high-profile plan to send people who arrive in the UK without authorisation to Rwanda, amid growing suspicion that it will not solve the migration crisis in the Channel.

In a further attack on the legal profession, the home secretary blamed “specialist lawyers” as the main reason for the delays in setting up the scheme.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/may/10/priti-patel-blames-specialist-lawyers-rwanda-plan-delays

The language used in this email from the Home Office is disgraceful, and the spin they put on their plans is not surprising, whilst the idea of removing people to Rwanda is shocking:

Home Office External Affairs – Rwanda press release
From: External Affairs <externalaffairs@homeoffice.gov.uk>
Date: Tue, May 10, 2022 9:57 am
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Good Morning, Last night the Home Office issued the following press notice announcing the first group of illegal migrants with no right to be in the UK will this week be informed of our intention to relocate them to Rwanda under the new Migration and Economic Development Partnership. The government last night published a range of document online, these include:

 Additionally, the release also confirms that this week, the Home Office will start an informal consultation with councils over how a new, fairer asylum dispersal system will operate in their areas in the long-term.  This will mean each area can agree a regional plan that works for them Please find a full copy of the release below. If you are issuing a statement in response, we’d be grateful if we can be signposted to your comment once published. If you have any questions please do let us know. Kind Regards, Aaron. FIRST ILLEGAL MIGRANTS TOLD OF IMPENDING REMOVAL TO RWANDA The first group of illegal migrants with no right to be in the UK will this week be informed of our intention to relocate them to Rwanda under the new Migration and Economic Development Partnership. Migrants who crossed the Channel are among those who will be served with notices and the Government has the power to detain individuals pending their removal from the UK. Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Britain’s asylum system is broken as criminals exploit and smuggle people into our country at huge costs to UK taxpayers. The world-leading migration partnership with Rwanda means those making dangerous, unnecessary and illegal journeys to the UK may be relocated to Rwanda to have their claims for asylum considered and to rebuild their lives there – helping break the people smugglers’ business model and prevent loss of life. “This is just the first stage of the process and we know it will take time as some will seek to frustrate the process and delay removals. I will not be deterred from acting to deliver on the changes the British people voted for to take back control of our money, laws and borders.” These notifications are the first step in the process and warn migrants they may not be admitted to the UK’s asylum system because they travelled through safe countries where they could and should have claimed asylum. Lawyers representing some of those notified are expected to lodge claims to prevent removal, and as set out when the partnership was first announced, first flights are expected to take place in the coming months. It comes as the Home Office publishes guidance to inform decision-making in the interests of transparency. The guidance published includes a formal, robust and comprehensive assessment of Rwanda, reaffirming that it is a safe country to relocate people to. It is based on a wide range of research, including visits to the country and interviews with independent organisations working there. Notes to Editors

  • The government routinely removes people to other countries for immigration reasons, including foreign national offenders, failed asylum seekers and visa overstayers.
  • Since March 2021 more than 10,000 people have been removed by both scheduled and charter flights, with 78 flights chartered to 13 different countries.
  • Last week a chartered flight to Albania removed foreign national offenders convicted of crimes including firearms and drug offences, assault of an emergency worker and theft, with combined sentences of over 56 years.
  • Home Secretary Priti Patel signed a world-first Migration and Economic Development Partnership with Rwandan Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-Operation Vincent Biruta in the capital Kigali on Thursday 14 April. 
  • The agreement is uncapped and Rwanda has capacity to resettle tens of thousands of people in the years ahead. Anyone who came to the UK illegally since 1 January 2022 could be considered.
  • Rwanda is a State Party to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and the seven core UN Human Rights Conventions.
  • Rwanda: country policy and information notes – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
  • Migration and Economic Development Partnership with Rwanda – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
  • Inadmissibility: third country cases – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Asylum dispersal

  • On Wednesday 13 April, the Home Office announced that all local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales will be expected to be asylum dispersal areas and they will receive new government funding.  
  • This week, Home Office will start an informal consultation with councils over how a new, fairer asylum dispersal system will operate in their areas in the long-term.  This will mean each area can agree a regional plan that works for them

Updated 9 May 2022: Guardian: First refugees to be told this week of their relocation to Rwanda

Arrivals who crossed Channel will be notified of Home Office plan to send them to nation to make asylum claims

The first group of people will be informed this week of the government’s intention to send them to Rwanda under its controversial relocation scheme, the Home Office has said.

Under plans announced last month, people arriving illegally in the UK via Channel crossings and other routes will be detained and sent to the east African nation to apply for asylum there.

The government has said it expects tens of thousands of people to be relocated under the scheme, although the plans face legal challenges from charities and campaign groups.

The Home Office has said that people who arrived in the UK after crossing the Channel will be among the first group notified that it plans to send them to Rwanda. It added that it expects the first flights to take place in the coming months.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/may/09/first-refugees-to-be-toldd-this-week-of-their-relocation-to-rwanda

The Article: Priti and the people smugglers

Priti Patel’s announcement that Rwanda was to be given £120 million for accepting deported migrants and refugees has not gone down well. But, undeterred, the Prime Minister has said he will get it done. For a moment let’s take at face value the Government’s response to the widespread outcry.

[…] With the Home Office prediction of only 300 deportations to Rwanda annually and with forthcoming legal challenges, Ms Patel’s money-for-migrants partnership seems unlikely to be implemented. The judges and “Left-wing lawyers” will be blamed when it is stopped. And Government headline-grabbing will continue: irresponsible, deceptive and shameless.

Read more: https://www.thearticle.com/priti-and-the-people-smugglers

Updated 9 May 2022: Guardian: Why we confronted Priti Patel about her inhumane ‘Rwanda plan’ at a Tory dinner by Holly Hudson

The government has a responsibility to help people seeking refuge, not detain them 4,000 miles away

  • Holly Hudson is an organiser with Green New Deal Rising

On Friday night, I and several others went undercover to a crowded dinner party held by the Bassetlaw Conservatives Association and challenged the home secretary, Priti Patel, on her inhumane “Rwanda plan” to process refugees offshore. The newspapers called us a “mob”, but I know that we were simply standing up for what is right.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/may/09/priti-patel-inhumane-rwanda-plan-tory-dinner

Updated 7 May 2022: Guardian: Activists disrupt Priti Patel speech in protest against Rwanda refugee plan

Green New Deal Rising campaigners were escorted from the dinner to chants of ‘out, out, out’

A speech by the home secretary, Priti Patel, was disrupted on Friday evening after pro-refugee activists infiltrated a Conservative party “spring dinner”.

Eight young social justice and climate campaigners from Green New Deal Rising disrupted the Bassetlaw Conservative Association Spring Dinner and demanded she drop controversial plans to offshore asylum seekers to Rwanda.

As Patel started to address the party faithful, activists stood up, one by one, to condemn the offshoring plans and called on Patel to abandon them.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/may/07/social-justice-activists-disrupt-priti-patel-speech-to-protest-rwanda-refugee-plan

Updated 4 May 2022: Politics Home: As a refugee myself, I know the government’s Rwanda plan will only lead to more tragedy

“Never give up on your dreams.” That’s the saying. But I lost my job, my family – everything – in the blink of an eye.

I was forced to flee Iran, the country I grew up in, because of my political activities as a member of the Kurdish minority. The journey I was forced to take left me scarred for life, and the most dangerous part of it was crossing the English Channel in a small boat. It was so foggy we could barely see.  

The government has said it will start sending single men, like me, who arrive this way to Rwanda. It claims this will cut off the hands of smugglers, but the reality is this will only punish people who are seeking sanctuary.  

When I claimed asylum, the authorities sent me to the Penally Barracks. This controversial ex-military site in Wales felt like a prison. To end up there, after having just fled prison and death, felt both ridiculous and at the same time scary and traumatic. In the drawings I made at the time, I showed how I felt about the situation.  

Read more: https://www.politicshome.com/thehouse/article/as-a-refugee-myself-i-know-the-governments-rwanda-plan-will-only-lead-to-more-tragedy

Morning Star: Patel’s Rwanda deal already causing ‘immense harm’ to asylum-seekers

The Star speaks with refugees who have run away from hostels over fears of being deported

PRITI PATEL’S Rwanda deal is already causing “immense harm” to asylum-seekers in Britain – with some running away from hostels over fears of being deported, the Morning Star has learned.

The Star spoke to two asylum-seekers who decided to flee their accommodation following the Home Secretary’s announcement two weeks ago.

Despite the risks of leaving Home Office accommodation, including becoming destitute and vulnerable to exploitation, both said they would prefer to sleep on the streets in the UK than risk being sent to Rwanda.

“I’ve already had a war in my country, I came all this way to seek refuge to have peace of mind,” Asif*, a Syrian national who came to Britain by small boat earlier this year, said.

“Now we don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s inhumane.”

Under the deal, asylum-seekers who arrived in Britain after January 1 in small boats across the Channel could be deported on a one-way ticket to Rwanda to claim asylum there.

The Home Office claims people sent to Rwanda would be provided with safe accommodation, food, healthcare, translators and access to legal support, but the policy has been widely condemned and is now subject to two legal challenges, launched this week.

Mahir*, also from Syria, spoke of living in a state of fear since the deal was announced. “I left the hotel because of my fears of the government’s decision,” he told the Star.

“In Syria we didn’t go out of our houses because we are always frightened. If I left my home for even five minutes, a police car would come and take me either to the army or prison straight away.

“When I came to Britain I felt safe and at home here, I could go out of the house at midnight or anytime [and] no-one would bother me.

“Now I am always frightened going out, walking around the street, communicating with people, because I don’t know what is going to happen in the next hour, the next second.

“When I heard about this decision I even thought about suicide. Taking me to Rwanda will affect me and if I didn’t take my life here I would do it in Rwanda.”

Mahir is now staying with a friend, but says he cannot stay there long. Both asylum-seekers are waiting to see whether the Rwanda deal will be dropped, after which time they hope they can resume their asylum cases.

Kenan, a co-founder of the refugee-led charity Life Seekers Aid, told the Star he knows of “many” asylum-seekers who have left hotels for the same reason: “They are terrified of being moved out to Africa, to Rwanda.”

Even asylum-seekers who arrived before January 1 fear they could be targeted and are among those who have gone into hiding, Kenan says.

“The Home Office is converting them from asylum-seekers to illegal immigrants,” he said.

“They are now undocumented people in this country.”

Refugee rights charities have also highlighted that while no-one has yet been sent to Rwanda, the announcement alone has had a “catastrophic” impact on asylum-seekers’ wellbeing.

“Families are scared and anxious to leave their homes, and even people who claimed asylum years ago are worried that they may be targeted for deportation,” Refugee Action’s Mohamed Omar said.

Humans for Rights Network director Maddie Harris told the Star: “I think the policy, in advance of anybody going there, is already causing immense harm [not only because of] people feeling unwelcome and unwanted but also being absolutely terrified that they are at risk of being sent to Rwanda.

Read more: https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/b/patel-rwanda-deal-already-causing-immense-harm-to-asylum-seekers

Updated 28 April 2022: Guardian: Priti Patel’s Rwanda asylum seeker plan faces first legal challenge

Charity Freedom from Torture says it has ‘serious concerns’ about lawfulness of policy

Priti Patel’s plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda is facing its first legal challenge after a charity instructed lawyers to demand the disclosure of documents because of fears the policy is contrary to international law.

In a pre-action letter to the Home Office, which is expected to lead to a judicial review claim, the solicitors Leigh Day stated that the charity Freedom from Torture “has serious concerns about the lawfulness of the policy”.

It has requested “disclosure of information regarding the policy”, including documents outlining it, risk assessments and the memorandum of understanding signed by the UK and Rwandan governments.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/apr/27/priti-patel-faces-legal-challenge-over-rwanda-asylum-seeker-plan

Updated 26 April 2022: Rwanda: “A serpent in place of a piece of fish” by David Forbes


The UK’s forcible transportation to Rwanda of asylum seekers declared “inadmissible” because they have entered without a visa has rightly been deemed “ungodly” by Justin Welby. It is a basic infringement of the Golden rule of love of God and love of neighbour. Today, we often prefer other less theological language notably “concern”, “care”, “protection from harm” language which has become enshrined in the general notion of “human rights”. Nevertheless examples from Jesus’s parables such as  the neighbourliness of the Good Samaritan, the father’s unconditional love and care for his Prodigal Son survive in the public consciousness.

Read more: https://qarn.org.uk/rwanda-a-serpent-in-place-of-a-piece-of-fish/

Updated 23 April 2022: Guardian: Rwanda genocide survivors moved out of hostel so Priti Patel could inspect it

Residents sent on awayday during the home secretary’s visit, and some fear losing their home to asylum seekers from the UK

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/23/rwanda-genocide-survivors-moved-out-of-hostel-so-priti-patel-could-inspect-it

Independent: Rwanda ‘more akin to detention camp than sovereign state’, says ex-ambassador

Senior Conservative MPs have also questioned the logic behind the Nationality and Borders Bill.

A former Rwandan ambassador to the US has warned the Government that the East African country is “more akin to a detention camp than a state where the people are sovereign”, as controversial immigration reforms edge closer to becoming law.

Theogene Rudasingwa, who was the country’s representative in the US from 1996 to 1999, has been in exile in America since 2004 after falling out with Rwandan president Paul Kagame.

The British Government has said it trusts Rwanda to treat the asylum seekers sent there humanely, Dr Rudasingwa said.

“As a Rwandan with decades of political and diplomatic experience my view is that under the regime of President Kagame such trust is unfounded,” Dr Rudasingwa said.

Read more: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/rwanda-british-government-mps-conservative-bob-neill-b2063821.html

20 April 2022: Washington Post: Why Britain’s deal with Rwanda on migrants is so repulsive:

Both countries have their reasons for an agreement to relocate migrants, but those don’t include the welfare of thousands of vulnerable people.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/04/20/britain-rwanda-refugees-trafficking-resettlement-deal/

21 April 2022: Re: Rwanda. The discussion on radio 4 last week with David Aaronovitch suggested the scheme is unworkable, also that when Israel used a similar one in 2014 most refugees who were taken there left the country as fast as possible and the scheme was abandoned. You can listen to it on BBC sounds here

Updated 17 April 2022: No to offshoring! Stop Government plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Please help by signing the petition now. No to offshoring! Stop Government plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

No to offshoring! Stop Government plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

The Government have announced plans to send those who cross the channel seeking refuge and asylum 4,500 miles away to Rwanda for ‘processing’. 

Those making the perilous journey across the channel will be taken to an RAF base in Yorkshire before being flown to Rwanda, where they will be sent to asylum camps and resettled there.  It’s going to cost £120 million to do.

The Government’s plan to offshore asylum processing for those who have fled war, violence, famine and persecution is inhumane and cruel. It is an extraordinary dereliction of our duty and our legal obligations – washing our hands of some of those most in need at huge expense. 

This plan violates the principle of the UN convention ( of which the UK was a founding signatory) which states that we must “grant people a fair hearing on UK soil”.*

In Australia, they have run a similar scheme of sending refugees to camps overseas, and it is reported to have led to people experiencing “rampant abuse” as well as “rape, murder and suicide.” How have our government not learned the lessons from this?*

To add to this, Rwanda, as Amnesty International has pointed out, has an abysmal record on Human Rights and as recently as last year a Rwandan national was granted asylum in the UK after they fled persecution there. In 2018, Rwandan National Police shot and killed Congolese refugees protesting mistreatment and poor conditions. They arrested a further 60. 

This horrific plan will only cause further suffering and torture to refugees and asylum seekers. It cannot be allowed to go ahead. 

We call on the Government to stop this disastrous plan, to say no to offshoring and to cancel the deal.

Please help by signing the petition now. https://www.change.org/p/no-to-offshoring-tell-pritipatel-to-stop-plans-to-send-asylum-seekers-to-rwanda

Independent: Tory MP accuses archbishop of ‘wanting to live with law-breaking’ after Rwanda asylum criticism

Justin Welby says there are ‘serious ethical questions about sending asylum seekers overseas’

Delivering his Easter Sunday sermon, the head of the Church of England criticised the plan to send some asylum seekers on a one-way ticket over 4,000 miles away to the east African country.

In a scathing intervention, Archbishop Welby accused the government of “sub-contracting” its responsibilities, adding there were “serious ethical questions about sending asylum seekers overseas”.

Speaking at Canterbury Cathedral, Mr Welby said the measures “cannot carry the weight of our national responsibility as a country formed by Christian values”.

He added: “The details are for politics. The principle must stand the judgment of God, and it cannot.

Read more: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/justin-welby-rwanda-conservative-mp-speech-b2059645.html

BBC: Rwanda asylum plan: Justin Welby raises ‘serious ethical questions’

https://emp.bbc.co.uk/emp/SMPj/2.44.14/iframe.htmlRwanda asylum plan: Justin Welby raises ‘serious ethical questions’Close

The Archbishop of Canterbury has used his Easter sermon to condemn the government’s plans to send asylum seekers in the UK to Rwanda.

Justin Welby told the congregation at Canterbury Cathedral that “subcontracting out our responsibilities” goes against Christian values.

“As a policy it privileges the rich and the strong,” he said.

He recognised Rwanda’s good intentions with its part in the plans, but said that responsibility for the asylum seekers lies with the UK.

BBC: Patel warned of uncertainty over Rwanda plan’s deterrent effect

Priti Patel’s top civil servant warned her there was not enough evidence of the “deterrent effect” of the plan to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda.

In a letter, Matthew Rycroft said the policy’s value for money relied on it reducing illegal Channel crossings.

He said while there was not “sufficient evidence” of the scheme’s benefits, that did not mean it would not work.

The home secretary replied it would be “imprudent” to allow a lack of modelling to delay the scheme.

The exchange between Ms Patel and her permanent secretary was published by the Home Office after it emerged she had issued a rare “ministerial direction” to push through the plans, meaning she takes personal responsibility for it.

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-61133983

Updated 16 April 2022: Guardian: Refugee who fled torture in Rwanda attacks UK asylum deal

Journalist who sought safety in Britain still in fear for his life after his paper criticised President Kagame

“Rwanda is a good country for image, but not for freedom of speech. I’m really shocked that the offshoring to Rwanda is happening. It is like selling people. It’s really shameful for a country like the UK to be doing this. It’s like a business,” he said.

“People will suffer there but it won’t stop the smuggling gangs. I believe asylum seekers will get bad treatment in Rwanda. I live outside London because the Rwandan embassy is in London and I don’t want to be near them. So many Rwandans who have left the country live in fear wherever they are.”

He said he was scared of what would happen to him if he was ever sent back to Rwanda. “Those who oppose Kagame end up in prison. The Rwandan government use torture and violence against their opponents.”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/apr/16/refugee-who-fled-torture-in-rwanda-attacks-uk-asylum-deal

Guardian: Priti Patel could face Home Office mutiny over Rwanda asylum plan

Unions say civil servants could stage mass walkouts after home secretary overruled their concerns

Priti Patel could face a Home Office mutiny over plans to process migrants 5,000 miles away in Rwanda after overruling officials to push through the scheme.

The home secretary issued a rare ministerial direction to overrule concerns of civil servants about whether the scheme would deliver value for money.

It is only the second ministerial direction – an order enforced by a minister despite objection from a permanent secretary – the Home Office has received in 30 years. The first was to speed up the Windrush compensation scheme before legislation.

Civil servants could stage mass walk-outs in protest against the new plans, unions have warned.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/apr/16/priti-patel-home-office-mutiny-rwanda-asylum-plan

BBC: Patel personally approved Rwanda plan launch after civil servant concerns

Priti Patel had to personally approve a scheme to send some asylum seekers from the UK to Rwanda after her officials voiced concern over value for money.

The home secretary issued a rare “ministerial direction” to push through the plans, meaning she takes responsibility for it.

It is only the second time the Home Office has used the power in 30 years.

A union for top civil servants said the plan was “divisive” but officials would have to implement it or leave.

FDA general secretary Dave Penman told BBC News: “Civil servants know their job is to support the government of the day. They sign up for that knowing they might not like what the government does.

“On the more divisive policies, which this clearly is, they face a choice – implement or leave. That could mean elsewhere in the Home Office, another department, or the service.”

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union, which also represents civil servants, said: “For the government to attempt to claim this is anything other than utterly inhumane is sheer hypocrisy.

“We have already seen that they are prepared to risk lives by turning boats back in the channel – a policy which we have had to take them to court over. It is a heartless approach that displays total disregard for human life which everyone must oppose.”

[…] Last year, the UK government raised concerns at the UN about claims of “extrajudicial killings, deaths in custody, enforced disappearances and torture” in Rwanda, as well as restrictions to civil and political rights.

But a Home Office spokeswoman said Rwanda was a “safe and secure country with a track record of supporting asylum seekers” and that under the plans, the country would “process claims in accordance with the UN Refugee convention, national and international laws”.

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-61126360

Guardian: Peers will fight UK government’s ‘awful’ Rwanda plans, says Lord Dubs

Exclusive: Alf Dubs, former child refugee, says sending asylum seekers to Rwanda is effectively ‘state-sponsored trafficking’

Ministers will face a fierce battle in parliament over plans to force some asylum seekers to be relocated to Rwanda, a Labour peer and former child refugee has vowed.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/apr/16/peers-will-fight-uk-governments-awful-rwanda-plans-says-lord-dubs

15 April 2022: World News: Rwanda migrants – latest: Rory Stewart calls plans ‘disturbing’ as Boris Johnson prepares for legal wrangle

Keir Starmer says Rwanda asylum plan will cost taxpayers ‘billions of pounds’

Rory Stewart has slammed the announcement that asylum seekers will be sent to Rwanda as “very strange and very disturbing”, adding he does not believe anyone will actually be sent there.

“I don’t like what they are doing in Rwanda, I think they are offshoring a British problem and they’re trying to put it out of sight and out of mind,” the former Africa minister said.

“It’s very strange and very disturbing.

“I was in Rwanda two weeks ago. There are many things that are positive, as you know, about Rwanda. It’s come out of a genocide, it’s gone through an extraordinary process of national healing, but it’s also an authoritarian state.”

Elsewhere, prime minister Boris Johnson today said the partnership with Rwanda will be “fully compliant with our international legal obligations”, while insisting it is “one of the safest countries in the world”.

“But nevertheless, we expect this will be challenged in the courts,” Mr Johnson added, as he hit out at what he called a “formidable army of politically motivated lawyers”.


Free Movement:      The UK-Rwanda memorandum of understanding on asylum processing is now available. It sets out the terms of the agreement between the countries at a high level but provides some insight into how this scheme is supposed to work.  https://freemovement.org.uk/uk-rwanda-refugee-offshoring-deal-first-thoughts/

Updated 14 April 2022: The memorandum of understanding:


Write to your MP:

Rainbow Migration have a template letter you can use to urge the Government not to send asylum seekers to Rwanda. Write to your MP now.

JCWI: Unspeakably cruel new plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda

Today the Government is announcing a deal to ship off asylum seekers to Rwanda.

These unspeakably cruel plans play fast and loose with the lives of refugees and will put people in danger. The situation in Rwanda for LGBTQI+ people, for example, is so poor that the UK accepts Rwandan refugees on the basis of their sexuality.

The deal will also fuel the smuggling trade, as people make new journeys to safety. A similar deal made by Israel with Rwanda in 2013 led to refugees being detained, beaten up in prison, and ultimately paying smugglers to escape Rwanda and make a new journey to safety.

We have seen from the outpouring of support towards Ukrainians and Afghans that the British public welcome refugees.

It’s time to build a decent asylum system that is accessible, and works fast to help people build new lives here in safety.

Join a demonstration:

London 6pm, Thursday 14 April, Outside the Home Office on Marsham Street, London (see map)

on 16 April, in Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester, Coventry

Detention Forum: URGENT: This Government plans to send people to offshore detention camps in Rwanda

This is urgent. On Thursday the 14th of April, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that his Government has signed a contract with Rwanda to build offshore detention camps there, where he will lock up people seeking asylum.

We have a chance to stop this, but we need your help.

Wherever it happens, offshore detention is designed to treat people seeking asylum with such cruelty and inhumanity that they return to the countries they fled.

The Rwandan government has a disturbing record of repression and human rights abuses. Rwandan police shot Refugees protesting against poor conditions in the camps there. In Rwandan detention centres people – including women and children – have been locked in filthy, crowded cells, and beaten by guards. https://detentionaction.e-activist.com/page/103976/donate/1

ripples: Stop Priti Patel’s offshore refugee camps

Refugees arriving in Britain will be flown to offshore “processing” centres in Rwanda, the government has announced.

The plan is modelled on Australia’s brutal network of offshore camps – widely condemned by human rights groups as at least 12 people died and many more suffered abuse.

According to Human Rights Watch, detainees in Rwanda have suffered from ill-treatment and even torture. The UN refugee agency UNHCR has also criticised the plan, saying it does not support any plans to transfer refugees offshore.

The scheme will also cost over £120 million – enough money to give every refugee in Britain a decent life, instead of spending it on imprisoning them.

It is the latest version of government plans that have failed multiple times before with various possible offshore detention locations, from the remote, volcanic Ascension Island to the use of disused ferries as prison ships.

This plan manages to combine being inhumane and cruel with being unworkable. It must be dropped immediately, this time for good.

The Guardian: Boris Johnson says tens of thousands could be sent to Rwanda under relocation plan for asylum seekers – UK politics live

The Home Office has released a press release about the deal with Rwanda. It confirms, as Mark Easton said on the BBC this morning (see 9.11am), that people being sent to Rwanda will just get a “one-way ticket”.

The government has been floating the prospect of offshore processing for asylum seekers for some time, but the assumption had been that people might be flown offshore (ie, to a country abroad) to have their claims for asylum in the UK processed, with those found to qualify eventually being allowed to return. Under this plan, people would instead only be offered the chance to seek asylum in Rwanda.

Here is an extract from the briefing.

Migrants who make dangerous or illegal journeys, such as by small boat or hidden in lorries, have their asylum claim processed in Rwanda. Those whose claims are accepted will then be supported to build a new and prosperous life in one of the fastest-growing economies, recognised globally for its record on welcoming and integrating migrants.

Under this partnership the UK is investing £120 million into the economic development and growth of Rwanda. Funding will also be provided to support the delivery of asylum operations, accommodation and integration, similar to the costs incurred in the UK for these services.

There were reports this morning that the plan would only apply to adult males. But the Home Office press release implies any asylum seekers arriving in the UK on small boats could be sent to Rwanda.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2022/apr/14/uk-politics-live-boris-johnson-asylum-seekers-rwanda-plan-provokes-fury-priti-patel-latest-updates

From ITV reporter: https://twitter.com/AnushkaAsthana

Factsheet: Migration and Economic Development Partnership

Posted by:Home Office news team

On Thursday 14 April, the UK and Rwanda announced a new Migration and Economic Development Partnership to redress the imbalance between illegal and legal migration routes.

The Partnership will see those travelling to the UK through illegal, dangerous or unnecessary methods considered for relocation to Rwanda, where they will have their asylum claim processed. Those whose claims for protection are rejected will either be offered the chance to stay in Rwanda or return to their home country – they will not return to the UK once their claims have been decided by Rwanda.

Read more: https://homeofficemedia.blog.gov.uk/2022/04/14/factsheet-migration-and-economic-development-partnership/

Human Rights Watch: World Report 2022: Rwanda

The ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) continued to stifle dissenting and critical voices and to target those perceived as a threat to the government and their family members. The space for political opposition, civil society, and media remained closed. Several high-profile critics, including opposition members and commentators using social media or YouTube to express themselves, went missing, were arrested or threatened. Arbitrary detention, ill-treatment, and torture in official and unofficial detention facilities was commonplace, and fair trial standards were routinely flouted in cases deemed sensitive. There were credible reports of arbitrary detention and mistreatment of people accused of “deviant behaviors,” including street children, sex workers and petty vendors. 

Political Repression 

The political and civic space in Rwanda remain closed. Christopher Kayumba, the former editor of The Chronicles newspaper, established a new political party, the Rwandese Platform for Democracy (RDP), in March. This followed the publication of an open letter in which Kayumba criticized President Paul Kagame’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis, its impact on the population, and denounced the existence of “safe houses,” where detainees are routinely held illegally and tortured. Shortly afterwards, allegations of rape and “sexual misconduct” were brought against him, and he was arrested in September. He began a hunger strike a few days after his arrest to protest the “politically-motivated” charges and had to be transferred to hospital for treatment. He was transferred to Nyarugenge prison in Kigali after his bail application was denied in October.  

Other political opposition figures, such as Victoire Ingabire, continued to face obstruction in their work, including threats and harassment by authorities. Authorities detained 10 people around “Ingabire Day,” an event scheduled for October 14 and organized by the unregistered opposition Dalfa-Umurinzi party to discuss, among other things, political repression in Rwanda. At the time of writing, seven party members, and a YouTube blogger were charged with several offenses including “spreading rumors”, “spreading false information with intent to create a hostile international opinion against the Rwandan state,” and “causing uprising or unrest among the population.” 

The September conviction and 25-year sentence of critic and political opponent Paul Rusesabagina on charges including murder and membership in a terrorist group after a flawed trial was emblematic of the government’s overreach and manipulation of the justice system. Rusesabagina was forcibly disappeared and unlawfully returned to Rwanda in August 2020. His trial was marred with fair trial and due process rights violations

Freedom of Expression

Read more: https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2022/country-chapters/rwanda

Human Rights Watch – HRW: UK Plan to Ship Asylum Seekers to Rwanda is Cruelty Itself

Government Continues to Rip Up its Duties to Asylum Seekers

Shirking its obligations to persons seeking asylum at its shores, the UK government has today signed an agreement with Rwanda to send asylum seekers crossing the English Channel there.

Under the new Asylum Partnership Arrangement, people arriving in the UK irregularly or who arrived irregularly since January 1, 2022 may be sent to Rwanda on a one-way ticket to have their asylum claim processed and, if recognized as refugees, to be granted refugee status there.

The UK is arguing that offshoring asylum seekers to Rwanda complies with its international legal obligations. However, offshore processing is not only cruel and ineffective, but also very likely to be unlawful. It creates a two-tiered refugee system that discriminates against one group based on their mode of arrival, despite refugee status being grounded solely on the threat of persecution or serious harm and international standards recognizing that asylum seekers are often compelled to cross borders irregularly to seek protection.

We have seen the severe abuses resulting from offshore processing. Australia’s offshore detention regime on Nauru and Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, caused more than eight years of immense human suffering. Twelve people have died since the policy began in 2013. Men, women, and children have suffered inhumane treatment and medical neglect, and years of indefinite detention led to suicides and an epidemic of self-harm. The costs were also exorbitant. Detaining a single asylum seeker on Papua New Guinea or Nauru cost around AUD $3.4 million (GBP£1.8 million) annually.

Furthermore, Rwanda’s appalling human rights record is well documented. In 2018, Rwandan security forces shot dead at least 12 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo when they protested a cut to food rations. Authorities then arrested and prosecuted over 60 of them on charges including rebellion and “spreading false information with intent to create a hostile international opinion against the Rwandan state.” Rwanda has a known track record of extrajudicial killings, suspicious deaths in custody, unlawful or arbitrary detention, torture, and abusive prosecutions, particularly targeting critics and dissidents. In fact, the UK directly raised its concerns about respect for human rights with Rwanda, and grants asylum to Rwandans who have fled the country, including four just last year.

At a time when the people of the UK have opened their hearts and homes to Ukrainians, the government is choosing to act with cruelty and rip up their obligations to others fleeing war and persecution.

Read more: https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/04/14/uk-plan-ship-asylum-seekers-rwanda-cruelty-itself

Guardian: Rwanda: human rights fears in nation whose leader faces murder claims

Paul Kagame, president of nation where UK plans to send asylum seekers, accused of seeking to assassinate opponents

Rwanda, Priti Patel’s planned destination for the processing of migrants arriving in the UK, is a largely rural east African country whose authoritarian president, Paul Kagame, has been accused of seeking to assassinate opponents.

The mountainous and landlocked country of 12 million, which witnessed an appalling genocide in 1994 in which 800,000 people were killed in 100 days, has been a recipient of generous development aid in the decades since.

Kagame has been feted by supporters in the west for his role in ending the genocide and for reducing poverty, though some critics have questioned the statistics.

But his leadership has come under increased scrutiny in recent years, especially over accusations that he orchestrated the kidnapping and murdering of his political opponents in order to eliminate challengers to his rule – accusations he denies.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/14/rwanda-human-rights-fears-paul-kagame

UNHCR: UN Refugee Agency opposes UK plan to export asylum

Following public announcements made today, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, expressed strong opposition and concerns about the United Kingdom’s plan to export its asylum obligations and urged the UK to refrain from transferring asylum seekers and refugees to Rwanda for asylum processing.

“UNHCR remains firmly opposed to arrangements that seek to transfer refugees and asylum seekers to third countries in the absence of sufficient safeguards and standards. Such arrangements simply shift asylum responsibilities, evade international obligations, and are contrary to the letter and spirit of the Refugee Convention,” said UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Gillian Triggs.

“People fleeing war, conflict and persecution deserve compassion and empathy. They should not be traded like commodities and transferred abroad for processing.”

UNHCR urged both countries to re-think the plans. It also warned that instead of deterring refugees from resorting to perilous journeys, these externalization arrangements will only magnify risks, causing refugees to seek alternative routes, and exacerbating pressures on frontline states.

While Rwanda has generously provided a safe haven to refugees fleeing conflict and persecution for decades, the majority live in camps with limited access to economic opportunities. UNHCR believes that wealthier nations must show solidarity in supporting Rwanda and the refugees it already hosts, and not the other way around.

The UK has an obligation to ensure access to asylum for those seeking protection. Those who are determined to be refugees can be integrated, while those who are not and have no other legal basis to stay, can be returned in safety and dignity to their country of origin.

Instead, the UK is adopting arrangements that abdicate responsibility to others and thus threaten the international refugee protection regime, which has stood the test of time, and saved millions of lives over the decades.

The UK has supported UNHCR’s work many times in the past and is providing important contributions that help protect refugees and support countries in conflicts such as Ukraine. However, financial support abroad for certain refugee crises cannot replace the responsibility of States and the obligation to receive asylum seekers and protect refugees on their own territory – irrespective of race, nationality and mode of arrival.

While UNHCR recognizes the challenges posed by forced displacement, developed countries are host to only a fraction of the world’s refugees and are well resourced to manage claims for asylum in a humane, fair and efficient manner.

Read more: https://www.unhcr.org/news/press/2022/4/62585e814/un-refugee-agency-opposes-uk-plan-export-asylum.html