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UK: Passing of Rwanda bill is a 'national disgrace'

© Marie-Anne Ventoura / Amnesty International UK

In response to the UK government’s controversial Rwanda bill passing through Parliament, Sacha Deshmukh, Amnesty International UK’s Chief Executive, said:

“Today will leave a stain on this country’s moral reputation.

“The UK parliament has passed a bill that takes a hatchet to international legal protections for some of the most vulnerable people in the world and it is a matter of national disgrace that our political establishment has let this bill pass.

“The bill is built on a deeply authoritarian notion attacking one of the most basic roles played by the courts - the ability to look at evidence, decide on the facts of a case and apply the law accordingly. It’s absurd that the courts are forced to treat Rwanda as a ‘safe country’ and forbidden from considering all evidence to the contrary.

“Switching off human rights protections for people who the Government thinks it can gain political capital from attacking sets an extremely dangerous precedent.

“A continued obsession with feeding the public misinformation about asylum issues - stoking resentment and division - has now led to one of the most shameful acts of any Parliament in this country’s history.

“It’s a new low to expel people seeking asylum to Rwanda - a country with its own large refugee population and a host of human rights issues.

“As with any other country, the UK has an obligation to provide safety to refugees - it’s now absolutely vital that flights to Rwanda do not leave the tarmac.”

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