Rishi Sunak’s Rwanda scheme was declared illegal by five independent UK judges. Yet he dismissed their judgement as one by “foreign courts” and promised to pass emergency legislation which would label Rwanda a “safe country”, despite objective fact. He hopes this will allow the UK to send asylum seekers to Rwanda in defiance of the ECHR and the UK’s international treaty obligations.
Both the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office – and the UK high commissioner to Rwanda – have repeatedly warned successive governments that Rwanda has a bloody record of extrajudicial killings, deaths in custody, enforced disappearances, torture and repression of dissidents. It is not a “safe” country and no law passed in the UK will make it safe.
Signing off on a new treaty with Rwanda in a desperate attempt to revive the government’s illegal plan to traffic asylum-seekers to their concentration camp there, home secretary James Cleverly insisted that the government wasn’t pursuing the inhuman scheme to win “cheap and quick popularity”. In this, at least, there might be a grain of truth given the Rwanda deportation scheme is neither “cheap” nor is it “popular”.
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