July 2, 2022

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UK flights to Rwanda: Judge allows first flight to send asylum seekers to Rwanda to move forward

UK flights to Rwanda: Judge allows first flight to send asylum seekers to Rwanda to move forward

The British government announced in April that it had done so agreed to a deal to send asylum seekers to the East African country, in a move it insists is aimed at disrupting people-smuggling networks and deterring migrants from crossing the dangerous English Channel into England from Europe.

Judge Swift dismissed the urgent injunction filed by activists in London’s Royal Courts of Justice on Friday, saying that in the matter of a “balance of propriety” there was a “material public interest” in allowing flights to proceed while the judicial review was underway.

The first flight, set to leave the UK on Tuesday, is set to take refugees to Rwanda as part of the Home Office’s controversial scheme to handle asylum seekers through the East African country.

The scheme is under judicial review in the royal courts, with a ruling on its legality expected in late July.

The government aims to dissuade people from crossing the English Channel by transporting asylum seekers to Rwanda. Interior Ministry lawyers told the court that legal challenges should not depend on the plan because it is in the public interest.

The challenge was brought up by human rights groups Care4Calais and Detention Action, along with the Federation of Public and Commercial Services (PCS), a trade union representing civil servants at Britain’s Home Office, and four asylum seekers facing deportation to Rwanda. They claimed British Home Secretary Priti Patel’s policy was “unlawful on multiple grounds”, and he sought an injunction to prevent the plane from taking off.

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