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UK Judges Block Rwanda Deportation Plan

LONDON: The UK government said it would challenge a court ruling issued Thursday that blocks its plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda, a set-back to its controversial bid to cut migrant numbers.

Three Court of Appeal judges ruled that Rwanda could not be considered a safe third country, after a challenge to the policy by 10 migrants and a charity supporting asylum seekers.

The ruling was welcomed by human rights groups but sparked an indignant response in Kigali, which insisted it met UN standards for the treatment of refugees.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he respected the court but “fundamentally” disagreed with the judges’ conclusions.

“I strongly believe the Rwandan government has provided the assurances necessary to ensure there is no real risk that asylum-seekers relocated under the Rwanda policy would be wrongly returned to third countries,” he said.

“Rwanda is a safe country. The High Court agreed. The (UN refugee agency) UNHCR have their own refugee scheme for Libyan refugees in Rwanda.

“We will now seek permission to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court.”

Tackling asylum claims has become a political headache for Sunak’s ruling Conservative government in London, which promised to “take back control” of the country’s borders after the UK left the EU.

Former prime minister Boris Johnson brought in the contentious deportation proposal to try to tackle record numbers of migrants crossing the Channel from northern France by small boats.

More than 11,000 people have already crossed the Channel in small boats from northern France this year, while the backlog of asylum claims being processed has reached record levels.


M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.