In the United Kingdom, the European Court of Human Rights prevents a flight supposed to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda

It is a setback for the British government: despite its determination to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda, 6,000 kilometers away, to deter illegal arrivals in the United Kingdom, the first flight was canceled, following an urgent decision by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

This project, criticized by the UN, is very popular among the conservative electorate, while the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, tries to restore his authority after having escaped a vote of no confidence from his party. But after legal action, a decision of the European Court of Human Rights forced the plane specially chartered for hundreds of thousands of euros to remain on the ground. “Last ticket canceled. NOBODY IS GOING TO RWANDA”tweeted the Care4Calais refugee support association, which had announced previous cancellations of deportations.

Government sources confirmed to the British news agency PA that the planned plane would not take off due to last-minute interventions by the ECHR. Originally, the authorities planned to expel up to 130 asylum seekers (Iranians, Iraqis, Albanians or Syrians) in this first flight, a figure which had been steadily reduced following various individual appeals.

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In a last-minute twist, the ECHR stopped the deportation of an Iraqi asylum seeker on Tuesday evening, taking a temporary emergency measure, a source of relief for associations defending the rights of migrants who judge the cruel and immoral government project. The ECHR, based in Strasbourg, considered that the expulsion of this Iraqi should be postponed until the British justice has examined the legality of the bill, which is expected in July. This is in particular to ensure that migrants can have access to fair procedures in Rwanda and that this country is considered safe.

UK government ‘undeterred’

While saying it expects appeals, the British government had nevertheless repeated in recent days its determination to carry out deportations to Rwanda. “There will be people on these flights and if they are not on this flight, they will be on the next one”said the head of diplomacy, Liz Truss, on Sky News earlier in the day. “We are not going to be deterred or embarrassed by any criticism in any way”had abounded the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.

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After the ECHR ruling, Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “We will not be discouraged from doing the right thing and implementing our plans to control our country’s borders. » Under its agreement with Kigali, London will initially finance the system to the tune of 120 million pounds (140 million euros). The Rwandan government has specified that it will offer migrants the possibility “to settle permanently”.

An “immoral” policy, according to the Anglican Church

During a press conference in Kigali, the Rwandan government spokeswoman, Yolande Makolo, considered that this agreement constituted a “solution to a broken global asylum system”. “We don’t think it’s immoral to give people a home”she added, explaining that Rwanda would be ” happy “ to welcome “thousands of migrants”.

“This immoral policy brings shame to the UK”for their part, estimated in a letter published Tuesday by the newspaper The Times the spiritual leaders of the Anglican Church, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, that of York, Stephen Cottrell, and twenty-three bishops.

“The immoral people in this case are the traffickers”replied M.me Truss. Prince Charles ruled in private “appalling” the government’s project, reported on Saturday the Times, which fueled the controversy when he must participate in a Commonwealth meeting from June 20 in Rwanda.

The World with AFP

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