UK: MPs must reject attack on human rights and the rule of law in Rwanda bill

© Marie-Anne Ventoura - Amnesty International

‘We are urging all MPs in the strongest terms to take a stand against this outrageous attack on the very concept of universal human rights’ - Sacha Deshmukh

Amnesty International is urging MPs to vote against the Government’s Rwanda Bill when it returns to the Commons today (Tuesday), calling it an attack on the rule of law and the very concept of universal human rights.

Amnesty warned that the Bill further degrades the human rights of people seeking asylum in this country which have already been attacked by previous asylum legislation, whilst it also undermines the foundational principles of the role of courts to protect the rights of individuals against Governments determined to violate them.

Sacha Deshmukh, Amnesty International UK’s Chief Executive, said:   

“The Rwanda Bill will strip some humans of their human rights, just when they are most in need of them. 

“This policy simply cannot and will never work and it’s outrageous this Government is sinking to ever more desperate depths to try and revive it.

“It should alarm politicians that the only way the Government thinks it can force through its doomed Rwanda policy is by removing basic protections and preventing the court from scrutinising its actions.

“This Bill is a threat to everyone’s human rights, because if the Government can recast the facts to serve its own purpose regardless of the reality, then there is no way for anyone to show their rights have been violated. 

“We are urging all MPs in the strongest terms to take a stand against this outrageous attack on the very concept of universal human rights.” 

Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill seeks to remove human rights laws for refugees

The new bill which had its first reading in Parliament last Thursday, is the Government’s latest attempt to deny the right of people fleeing persecution and war to seek asylum in the UK. If passed, it will attempt to require the courts to permit the Home Secretary to expel refugees to Rwanda whatever the consequences, regardless of evidence that the county is not safe and bypassing the UK’s highest court’s recent assessment that it is not. To achieve this the bill disapplies most of the Human Rights Act and all other common law rights protections and key international treaties including the UN Convention Against Torture and the European anti-human trafficking treaty. Laws like this are a threat to everyone’s human rights because if the Government can determine what is fact and what is not regardless of the reality, then there is no way for a person to show their rights have been violated. 

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