UK: Scrapping of Government's 'shameful' Rwanda scheme is welcome

In response to the Court of Appeal ruling that UK law does not permit the Government to move forward with its highly controversial Rwanda refugee forced relocation policy, Sacha Deshmukh, Amnesty International UK’s Chief Executive, said:

“This judgment is very welcome, but it can’t undo the enormous suffering, harm and expense already caused by the Government’s long and reckless pursuit of a patently unjust scheme.

“This totally misguided bid to expel people seeking asylum thousands of miles away to Rwanda - a country with its own asylum and human rights challenges - was always an expensive and deeply cruel injustice.

“The Rwanda deal is a cynical distraction from the pressing need to radically reform our own chronically failing asylum procedures - which are slow, increasingly chaotic and leave thousands of people stranded in limbo for years.

“The Government should now completely abandon the Rwanda deal - and any others like it - before doing any more damage to our international reputation or to the people threatened by such plans.

Shamefully, the Government is still trying to force legislation through Parliament to compel it to expel from the UK almost everyone who may ever seek asylum here.

“While this judgment may mean that ministers must rethink their plan to use Rwanda for that purpose, they should take this as the opportunity to stop playing politics with people’s lives, scrap the reckless immigration bill and get down to the serious task of fairly and efficiently deciding the claims of the still relatively few people who seek asylum here.”

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