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Author: Nilmini Roelens


The Home Secretary Priti Patel has "linked up" with Rwanda via this Memorandum of Understanding to side step our international obligations.

Where is our humanity? It is a shameful and hypocritical disregard for the United Kingdom's "long proud history of providing protection to those who need it, in accordance with international obligations".

Our "national karma" and hypocrisy have reached such unimaginable levels that we should all perhaps consider relocating ourselves to Neptune where conditions are less harsh.

Should gun boats of the British navy patrol for rubber dinghies carrying desperate and vulnerable people? Many of these people are fleeing wars too, as terrible and senseless as the one in Ukraine...

What awaits these people in Rwanda?

RWANDA: US State department report for 2020 says this:

"Significant human rights issues included: unlawful or arbitrary killings by the government; forced disappearance by the government; torture by the government; harsh and life-threatening conditions in some detention facilities; arbitrary detention; political prisoners or detainees; politically motivated reprisal against individuals located outside the country; arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy; serious restrictions on free expression, press, and the internet, including threats of violence against journalists, censorship, and website blocking; substantial interference with the rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of association, such as overly restrictive nongovernmental organization laws; and restrictions on political participation."

UKVI appears to have deleted any previous CPIN (Country Policy Information Notes on Rwanda). Given what the US State Dept says above one must wonder why no similar investigation was undertaken by the UK govt before signing this MoU...

Article 32 of the Refugee Convention prevents the expulsion of a refugee, where the refugee is "lawfully present" in the country. Given that there are no "safe and legal routes" for refugees being offered (there are no “visas for claiming asylum”except the unsuitable Ukrainian ones) the vast majority of asylum seekers could be treated as entering the UK illegally. Indeed, during asylum screening interviews asylum seekers are pressed until they "confess" to intending to claim asylum on entry so that they can be treated as illegal entrants. This makes most asylum seekers removable to Rwanda and not just those arriving in small boats.

Article 33 - Prohibition of expulsion or return ("refoulement") of a refugee "in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened" for a Convention reason should prevent the UK from using this arrangement, as Rwanda is unlikely to be a safe country for these purposes.

Morally reprehensible: Is the UK discharging its international obligations by "selling off" its asylum seekers?

The principle cannot stand the judgement of God says the Archbishop of Canterbury:

See Professor Heaven Crawley's article dated 22.4.22 below on how the maverick and reckless steps taken by the UK government will undermine the world order on Human Rights:

Why the UK-Rwanda Asylum Deal Risks Harming Global Standards

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