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British Court Rules That Asylum Seekers can be Flown from the Uk to Rwanda

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An appeals court in London has ruled that the government can fly over people who have entered the United Kingdom illegally to the East African country of Rwanda. The opposition of trade unions and humanitarian organizations to the expulsion has been rejected by a court.


The British government had previously reached an agreement with Rwanda. That country is prepared to receive and provide asylum to asylum seekers and refugees who have entered the United Kingdom illegally.

This was met with much opposition from human rights groups and trade unions. They had gone to court to prevent the deportation of asylum seekers to Rwanda, but have now been proved wrong. According to the appeal court, the government has the right to act “in the common interest”.

The court thus confirms an earlier decision of the Supreme Court and now there is no longer any legal appeal. The first flight with a dozen asylum seekers to Rwanda is already planned for tomorrow. They would then be able to apply for asylum there and if approved, those people would in principle enjoy five years of land support and education, the British government said. What happens if their application is rejected is less clear.

Opponents see it differently and speak of deportation. The humanitarian organization Care4Calais calls the asylum flights to Rwanda “cruel and barbaric” and wonders whether Rwanda is a “safe country”. Under United Nations and Council of Europe conventions, refugees and asylum seekers should not be sent to unsafe countries where they risk ill-treatment and persecution. British Crown Prince Charles also criticized the Rwanda deal last week.

According to the British government, “Rwanda is one of the safest countries”, even though London criticized the regime’s treatment of dissidents in Kigali last year.

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