Rwanda asylum plan: UK high court okays flight planned for Tuesday KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt

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Friday, June 10, 2022

Rwanda asylum plan: UK high court okays flight planned for Tuesday

Campaigners failed in their legal bid to halt the removals to the east African country, but the case will be heard by the Court of Appeal on Monday.

Under the policy, those entering the UK illegally will be flown to Rwanda to apply for asylum there.

About 31 people have been told they may be on the first flight.

There will be a full judicial review, where the High Court will hear a challenge to the policy as a whole, before the end of July, it heard.

Ms Patel praised his judgement and said the government would go ahead with its plans, while Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the ruling as "welcome news".

However, campaigners who brought the case expressed concern for the welfare of people set to be "forcibly deported" and confirmed they would appeal against the decision.

He supported submissions made by the home secretary, Priti Patel, and rejected the application to halt the Rwanda flight next Tuesday, but granted permission to the claimants to appeal – suggesting court of appeal judges would hear the case on Monday.

Swift said there was a “material public interest” in allowing the secretary of state to be able to implement immigration control decisions. He also said that some of the risks of sending asylum seekers to Rwanda outlined by the claimants were very small and “in the realms of speculation”.

Patel will see this as a significant victory following concern that the offshoring plan would be stopped in the courts.

The plan to offshore asylum seekers and outsource the refugee obligations of the UK, one of the richest countries in the world, to Rwanda – among the poorest – has been controversial since it was announced by government on 14 April. About 30 asylum seekers, currently being held in immigration detention centres, are due to be flown there from a secret location in the UK by an undisclosed airline on Tuesday.

It is the first of multiple legal challenges to the policy to have a live high court hearing.

The specific aspects of the policy under challenge in court were the right of the home secretary 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.

Sonya Sceats, chief executive of Freedom from Torture, said the charity was disappointed by the ruling. “But the fight is far from over,” she said. “Caring people across Britain are incensed that this government wants to send people seeking safety halfway across the world and are taking action.”

PCS said they would press on with an appeal that will be heard on Monday. Mark Serwotka, the general secretary, said the outcome was “disappointing” and called for urgent talks with Patel over how the removals will be carried out.

Enver Solomon, chief executive of the Refugee Council, said: “We have already had to directly intervene to stop young people being deported to Rwanda because they were falsely assessed as adults. We fear this is a threat to many more young people who are being wrongly held in detention, putting them at great risk.

“These are vulnerable people and scared children who are alone, many of whom have undertaken perilous journeys to come to the UK in hope of safety. No one risks their own, or family’s, life unless they are running from dangers more acute than they face on these journeys.

“The government must reflect on the initial failures of this plan, and rethink by looking to operating an orderly, humane, and fair asylum system.”

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