What you need to know about the British draft law deporting migrants to Rwanda

They are Afghan and Iraqi, having arrived in British territory some time ago to flee their country. However, this Tuesday, June 14, they will take off towards Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. British justice authorized Friday, a series of expulsions within the framework of a partnership signed between the two countries, an idea of ​​the conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson. “L’Obs” deciphers this controversial bill across the Channel.

A measure carried by Boris Johnson

On April 14, the British Prime Minister presented his government’s “immigration plan”. The relocation measure (more than 6,000 kilometers from London) of migrants who arrived illegally in the United Kingdom was at the forefront, causing an outcry in the country.

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Since then, Boris Johnson and Priti Patel, the Minister of the Interior, have gone on a crusade to defend their bill. They want to deter illegal Channel crossings, which are on the rise despite repeated promises to control immigration since Brexit. “Criminal groups that are putting people’s lives in danger in the English Channel must understand that their economic model will collapse under this government”, justified Boris Johnson on LBC radio on Monday. “What really matters is to establish the principle” and of “break the economic model of these terrible people, these traffickers who trade in distress”said the head of diplomacy, Liz Truss, on Sky News.

An “immoral policy”

Very quickly, the measure provoked indignation in the country. Up to the royal family. Prince Charles ruled in private “appalling” the government’s plan, the “Times” reported on Saturday. In a letter published on Tuesday by the same newspaper, the spiritual leaders of the Anglican Church estimated that “This immoral policy puts the UK to shame”. “Our Christian heritage should inspire us to treat asylum seekers with compassion, fairness and justice”they insisted.

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Many refugee aid associations also challenged the measure and demonstrated for the rights of those soon to be expelled. James Nichol, lawyer and administrator of the Care4Calais association, denounced a policy ” brutal “ aiming “people who come from war-torn countries” and “are already traumatized”.

The UN is also against the measure, and the human rights organization HRW believes that London “seeks to shift its asylum responsibilities entirely to another country”going against the Geneva Convention.

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This project is also seen by the Labor opposition as an attempt to “diversion” in the face of political scandals weakening Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

British justice validates the project

The standoff with the government also took place on the legal ground. The project was validated by the British justice on Friday. The latter rejected at first instance and then on appeal last-minute appeals formulated in particular by associations to try to stop departures.

“This appeal is dismissed”, declared for the Court of Appeal Judge Rabinder Singh, confirming the decision formulated at first instance following an urgent appeal filed by associations for the defense of refugees, including Care4Calais and Detention Action who had appealed. The High Court on Monday also dismissed another appeal, brought by the refugee aid association Asylum Aid.

In central London, hundreds of protesters expressed their displeasure at the Home Office, holding up signs with messages like “All refugees welcome” Where “Stop racist deportations”.

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Even if they failed to prohibit the measure, the legal challenges launched in parallel have had the effect of significantly reducing the scale: the first flight risks taking off almost empty. “Twenty-three people had their tickets to Rwanda cancelled. Eight still have to leave tomorrow”tweeted Care4Calais, who had called for justice to “stop this cruel and barbaric project”. New appeals are scheduled for Tuesday.

An agreement with Rwanda

The United Kingdom is the first European country to materialize such an agreement to subcontract asylum applications with an outside country, a measure which would not have been possible if the country was still a member of the European Union.

Under this agreement, London will initially finance the device to the tune of 120 million pounds (140 million euros). The Rwandan government has specified that it will offer migrants the possibility “to settle permanently in Rwanda if they wish”.

I will not go to Kigali

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Temporary accommodation, the Hope Hostel in Kigali, is made available to refugees while their asylum application is examined by Rwanda. If accepted, they will be able to stay there for five years.

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However, no guarantee was given on the reception conditions. In Rwanda, ruled by President Paul Kagame since the end of the 1994 genocide, which killed 800,000 people according to the UN, the government is regularly accused by NGOs of suppressing freedom of expression, criticism and opposition. Politics.

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