Rwanda deportation plan: First flight can go ahead, High Court rules - SKYNEWS
JUNE 10, 2022
A deportation flight taking the first asylum seekers to Rwanda next week can go ahead, the High Court has ruled.
They will be the first migrants to be sent to the African country to have their asylum claims processed since the government announced the controversial policy in April.
Around 30 people are scheduled to be on the flight.
A High Court judge refused to grant an injunction brought by human rights campaigners to block the one-way flight scheduled for next Tuesday.
Activists said the government plan was "not safe" and lawyers for nearly 100 migrants submitted legal challenges asking to stay in the UK.
The Home Office argues the policy will deter people from making dangerous illegal Channel crossings from France in flimsy small boats run by smugglers.
Officials believe that the removal plan is in the public interest and it must not be stopped.
The Home Office has said five other people who were due to be deported will not be sent to Rwanda after they had their removal directions cancelled.
Up to 130 people have been notified they could be removed.
Two campaign groups - Detention Action and Care4Calais - joined the PCS Union and four individual asylum seekers bringing legal action against the Home Office.
The court heard the UN refugee agency, the UNHCR, has a number of concerns about the asylum process in Rwanda, including discriminatory access to asylum - including for LGBT people - a lack of legal representation and interpreters, and difficulties in appealing.
In the first stage of legal action, brought today, Raza Husain QC, for the claimants, told the High Court: "The system is not safe. It is not that it is not safe after July, it is just not safe.
"You may be arbitrarily denied access to it. If you do get into it, there are concerns about the impartiality of the decision-making."
The court was also told that a second flight may be scheduled for Thursday, something the Home Office denied.
The High Court is due to hear a further challenge to the policy on Monday, brought by refugee charity Asylum Aid and supported by fellow campaign group Freedom From Torture.