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Refugee charities lose appeal, UK conducts first flight deporting illegal migrants to Rwanda

A call to stop the plane which is to deport 31 British asylum seekers to Rwanda has been rejected. AFP reports that the London Court of Appeal on Monday dismissed an appeal to stop the British government’s controversial first flight carrying asylum seekers to the African nation of Rwanda. “This appeal is dismissed,” Judge Rabinder Singh said, after the High Court on Friday dismissed a petition filed by refugee charities and a trade union, which called it immoral, dangerous and counterproductive. Tuesday’s deportation will take place as part of a government program to relocate those who have entered Britain illegally since January 1.

One-way flights to Rwanda are meant to deter those undertaking the perilous journey from entering the UK in hopes of starting a new life. The government claims to want to put an end to these treacherous trips.

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Filippo Grandi, the UN refugee chief, criticized the government’s plan and said it was “all wrong”.

Speaking to reporters, he said: ‘We believe this is all wrong…for many reasons.’

According to an AFP report, more than 10,000 migrants have crossed the English Channel illegally this year. This is a considerable increase over previous years’ figures.

Watch | Why is Boris Johnson’s government sending asylum seekers from the UK to Rwanda?

Grandi said he too wanted to end these dangerous journeys, but reiterated UNHCR’s position that exporting illegal migrants is not the solution.

Rwanda has long been considered a failing nation on the human rights front. In the past, the UN agency has also raised concerns about the lack of legal remedies in the country and the potential discrimination faced by gay people.

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“The UK says…we’re doing this to save people from dangerous journeys. Allow me to doubt that a bit,” Grandi said.

“Rescuing people from dangerous journeys is great, absolutely great. But is it the right way to do it?” He asked. “I do not think so.”

(With agency contributions)

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Post expires at 5:01pm on Thursday June 23rd, 2022