Charities are fundraising to support a legal challenge against the government over its plans to ship refugees to Rwanda.
In April, the UK government announced plans to offshore some asylum seekers to the African country. Boris Johnson said it was a way of saving hundreds of people from trafficking, with those arriving by small boat across the Channel flown with a one-way ticket to Rwanda. He said the agreement set “a new international standard in addressing the challenges of global migration and people smuggling.”
Campaigners were quick to slam the plans, labelling them unethical. Many questioned the legality and pointed out that arbitrary detention, torture, degrading treatment, and political imprisonment have been widely reported in the country.
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Marley Morris, associate director for migration, trade and communities at think tank IPPR, called the scheme “unethical, unsustainable, and likely to come at a huge cost to the UK taxpayer.”
Now, the fightback has begun. Charity Freedom from Torture became the first to launch a crowdfunder to take legal action against the government. It follows its successful legal challenge of Priti Patel’s pushback policy, which put a stop to the home secretary’s policy to forcibly send small boats crossing the Channel back to France.
Its crowdfunder states: “Despite outcry from experts and people all over the UK, we believe that this government will send torture survivors to Rwanda as part of this scheme, and that this will raise serious human rights concerns, even if they introduce safeguards.