Tuesday’s intended departure of the first British flight carrying asylum seekers to Rwanda was delayed when the European court for human rights filed last-minute injunctions to halt the deportation of the few migrants on board.
Inhumane, according to critics, charities, and religious organisations, is the British government’s proposal to transfer certain migrants to the East African country. It has been obliged to defend itself against a number of legal challenges in London courts aimed at preventing its implementation.
At least 30 passengers slated for the first trip to Rwanda have successfully argued in recent days that they should not be deported on health or human rights grounds.
Tuesday, a small number of migrants were scheduled to depart from an air force facility in southwest England. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued injunctions to prevent their deportation shortly before the scheduled takeoff of the aircraft.
“I have always stated that this policy will be difficult to implement, so I am unhappy that a legal challenge and last-minute claims prevented today’s flight from taking off,” said Home Secretary Priti Patel.
“It is really remarkable that the European Court of Human Rights has interfered despite our local courts’ regular success in the past.”
She stated that the government would not be intimidated and would prepare for the following trip.
After the plane’s engines were started and cabin crew was seen boarding, the flight was cancelled.
Regarding one of the individuals, an Iraqi, the ECHR ruled that he “shall not be removed until three weeks have passed since the delivery of the final domestic judgement in the ongoing judicial review processes.”
In July, the High Court in London will conduct this judicial review to determine the scheme’s legality.
Britain asserts that the 120 million pound ($148 million) agreement reached with Rwanda will reduce the number of perilous crossings of the English Channel and destroy the financial model of people-smuggling networks.
However, the United Nations’ refugee chief branded it as “catastrophic,” the whole leadership of the Church of England decried it as unethical and disgraceful, and according to media accounts, the heir to the throne, Prince Charles, personally described the proposal as “appalling.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who stated that his administration will not be deterred by criticism from “quite surprising quarters,” had previously stated that legal challenges undermined efforts to establish safe routes for asylum seekers.
When asked if the United Kingdom may withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights, he stated, “It is absolutely true that… the legal community is very excellent at finding methods to prevent the government from enforcing what we consider to be a sensible statute.
“Will it be essential to alter certain laws to aid us as we proceed? It is possible, and all of these alternatives are under ongoing study.”
Professor of international law and human rights at the University of Nottingham Sangeeta Shah stated that if Britain opted out of the convention, it would join Belarus and Russia in not being a member. The Russian parliament enacted legislation to end the European court’s jurisdiction last week. read further
She stated, “Britain would be saying, ‘We don’t believe in a system that the rest of Europe does believe in.'”
Last year, more than 28,500 people were caught entering in Britain through tiny boats, and the government claims its approach would prevent this.
Tuesday saw the arrival of dozens of migrants, including women and young children, according to a Reuters witness at the Channel port of Dover.
Human rights groups believe that the strategy will endanger migrants, and the UN refugee agency asserts that Rwanda, whose own human rights record is under investigation, lacks the capacity to adequately handle the claims.