Rwanda deportations ‘an immoral coverage that shames Britain’, church leaders say – hours earlier than first flight set to depart


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Church of England leaders have stated the federal government’s plan to ship asylum seekers to Rwanda is an “immoral coverage that shames Britain” – with the primary flight set to depart right now.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York – in addition to 23 different bishops – have written a letter to The Occasions that claims no try has been made to “perceive the predicament” of these affected.

After two authorized challenges failed, a aircraft is scheduled to go away for the Rwandan capital of Kigali later, however it’s unclear what number of asylum seekers will likely be onboard.

Their letter says: “Whether or not or not the primary deportation flight leaves Britain right now for Rwanda, this coverage ought to disgrace us as a nation.

“The disgrace is our personal, as a result of our Christian heritage ought to encourage us to deal with asylum seekers with compassion, equity and justice, as we’ve got for hundreds of years.”

Non secular leaders have known as for “evil trafficking” to be combatted by the supply of secure routes for refugees attempting to achieve the UK, including: “Deportations and the potential pressured return of asylum seekers to their residence nations usually are not the way in which.”

It comes days after the Prince of Wales described the Conservatives’ policy as “appalling”, and after Imam Qari Asim, the senior imam on the Makkah Mosque in Leeds, stated it “challenges our human conscience and compels us to talk up for human dignity”.

Learn extra:
What is it like to be a refugee in Rwanda?
Asylum seeker says he would rather die than be sent to Rwanda
Why are migrants being sent to Rwanda and how will it work?

The Archbishop of Wales and the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster have additionally criticised the coverage – as have charities, human rights teams and the UN Excessive Fee for Refugees.

Three additional authorized challenges are anticipated to be heard on the Excessive Courtroom on Tuesday. These are being introduced by individuals who face being eliminated on the primary flight.

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Judges reject bid to cease migrant flight to Rwanda

The federal government has stated it’s aiming to discourage folks from making dangerous Channel crossings from France in flimsy small boats run by smugglers.

A authorities spokesman stated: “We welcome the court docket’s resolution in our favour, and we’ll now proceed to ship on progressing our world-leading migration partnership which is able to assist forestall lack of life and break the enterprise mannequin of vile folks smugglers.

“Rwanda is a secure nation and has beforehand been recognised for offering a secure haven for refugees – we is not going to be deterred in delivering our plans to repair the damaged asylum system which is able to in the end save lives.”

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Inside Rwanda’s migrant hostel

Final 12 months, greater than 28,000 folks crossed the Channel in small boats – greater than thrice the quantity seen in 2020.

Greater than half had been both Iranian or Iraqi, with folks from Eritrea and Syria additionally making crossings, in line with Dwelling Workplace figures.

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