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Judge authorizes first flight to send asylum seekers to Rwanda to move forward

Human rights groups Care4Calais and Detention Action, a union representing civil servants from the UK Home Office, the Federation of Public and Commercial Services (PCS) and some asylum seekers being deported to Rwanda, have been challenged to block deportation flights. British Home Secretary Priti Patel’s policy was alleged to be “illegal for a number of reasons” and he called for a ban to prevent the plane from taking off.

Prosecutors questioned Patel’s legal authority to carry out the deportations, the reasonableness of his claim that Rwanda is generally a “safe third country” given the country’s human rights situation, the adequacy of malaria prevention in the country, and whether the policy is consistent with the European situation. Standards. . Human Rights Convention.

However, Judge Swift on Friday rejected an urgent campaign order in London’s Royal Court, saying there was a “essential public interest” in allowing flights to continue while awaiting judicial review.

British Prime Minister Patel and Boris Johnson welcomed the court’s decision on Friday. “We cannot allow human traffickers to risk their lives, and our world-leading partnership is helping to break the business model of these ruthless criminals,” Johnson said on Twitter.

Advocacy groups have vowed to continue the fight. Care4Calais announced Monday that it had obtained permission to appeal the decision “because we are deeply concerned about the well-being of people forcibly removed to Rwanda and this fate could severely harm their mental health and future,” said Claire, founder of the human rights group. Mosley said in a statement.

“Today was just the beginning of this legal challenge. We believe that the next stage of legal proceedings can put an end to this completely barbaric plan.”

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The UN refugee agency and other international human rights groups have also opposed the plan, arguing that it will increase risks and force refugees to seek alternative routes, increasing pressure on frontline states.

Two days before the Supreme Court ruling, James Wilson, the deputy director of detention, said in a statement that Patel had “exceeded his authority” in “attempting to punish asylum seekers by forcing them to travel to Rwanda”.

“The rush of what we consider to be illegal policies turns a blind eye to the many clear risks and human rights abuses that can affect asylum seekers,” Wilson added.

“Dig to fight”

The Supreme Court’s decision came after Johnson came under more scrutiny by MPs because it demonstrated the success of the policy.

Johnson told the Daily Mail he expected a lot of legal resistance to the policy, but said the government would “fight back”.

We are ready so we will get into the fight – and we will succeed. “He has a huge flowchart of the things we need to do to deal with Lefty’s attorney,” he said in an interview in May. He added that 50 people have already received a notice warning them to be deported to Rwanda.

The government says the plan to send people to Rwanda will initially cost 120 million pounds ($158 million) to support asylum, accommodation and “integration” processes.

The Ministry of the Interior announced on 1 June that it had received a notice of deportation to Rwanda among those who had “undertaken dangerous, unnecessary and illegal journeys, including crossing the canal”. “While we know they are now trying to slow the process down and delay removal, I will not be deterred and will remain fully committed to implementing what the British public expects,” Patel said in a statement.

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The plan also faces another legal challenge from the charity Asylum Aid, which called for urgent action on Thursday to prevent flights from departing.

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Before Friday’s decision, Mosley said on CNN’s Care4Calais that the charity was working with more than 100 people who had been notified. Many fled persecution or conscription back home in search of a better life in Britain for fear of being sent to Rwanda.

“A lot of people have told me I’d rather die than send them to Rwanda,” Moseley said in an interview in Calais, France, where the charity helps refugees in and around the city.

Many asylum seekers continue to travel to Calais, where the camp known as “The Jungle” attracted media attention at the height of the European refugee crisis in 2015, before it was destroyed by authorities the following year.

Every year, thousands of people risk a dangerous journey on the English Channel, a relatively narrow waterway between Britain and France and one of the world’s busiest waterways.

According to an analysis of government data from the Palestinian Authority News Agency, more than 10,000 small, rickety ships have crossed the canal this year. Last year, more than 28,000 people crossed.

From CNN, Nada Bashir and Joseph Atman in Calais contributed to this report.