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UK: Channel crossing deaths highlight Government's 'callous attitude' to refugees

In response to reports that five people died earlier today trying to cross the Channel, Steve Valdez-Symonds, Amnesty International UK’s Refugee and Migrant Rights Director, said:

“Today is an utterly bleak day for people seeking asylum in the UK.

“Our hearts go out to the family and friends who've lost loved ones desperately trying to cross the Channel to seek safety.

“We've already seen the Government attempt to use these tragedies at sea as an excuse to brazenly push ahead with its cruel and reckless scheme to forcibly transport people seeking asylum to Rwanda.

“The Rwanda scheme won’t save lives and – despite all the empty claims – it was never designed to. Rwanda is raw politics from a Government which has totally lost sight of the people directly affected by its asylum policy.

“Rather than concocting an unlawful and hugely wasteful plan to avoid this country's responsibilities, ministers should be working with France and other countries to ensure people have safe access to asylum systems, including in the UK.

“The Government’s callous attitude to people fleeing war and persecution has already severely damaged the UK's international reputation and undermined the global refugee system.

“The Government must immediately change course or things will only get worse.”

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