UK Gov plan to send immigrants to Rwanda begins to deter asylum seekers
The UK Government’s scheme to process illegal immigrants who cross the English Channel in Rwanda (which has a poor reputation for LGBTQ+ and human rights) has begun to deter people from heading to the UK.
According to reports, ‘at least ten’ immigrants have rescinded their applications due to fear they may be sent to Rwanda. There are no protections for LGBTQ+ people in the land locked African country so it begs the question, if an immigrant has fled their country due to the fact they are gay and are afraid of retribution, are the UK going to fly them to a country where they may continue to be in danger?
The new policy, which is due to send its first plane to Rwanda on June 6, only aims to transport roughly 300 people to Rwanda a year at a cost of £140 million but a Government source said ‘It’s a positive start. We always said we need to get the flights going before it becomes a deterrent, but this shows the direction we’re heading and why we introduced the policy.’
The Archbishop of Canterbury proclaimed that the practise was cruel and whilst it is partly meant to stop people taking the perilous journey over the Channel, critics have said it is inhumane to then uproot those who are already vulnerable and fly them to a country where they don’t know the language or the culture and, in the cases of LGBTQ+ asylum seekers, are almost certainly putting them in danger once again.
Human Rights Watch reported last year: “Rwandan authorities rounded up and arbitrarily detained over a dozen gay and transgender people, sex workers, street children, and others in the months before a planned June 2021 high-profile international conference. People interviewed who identified as gay or transgender said that security officials accused them of “not representing Rwandan values.” They said that other detainees beat them because of their clothes and identity. Three other detainees, who were held in the “delinquents’” room at Gikondo, confirmed that fellow detainees and guards more frequently and violently beat people they knew were gay or transgender than others.”