June 9, 2022

Stop asylum seekers being deported to Rwanda

A shocking new low for the UK government: on 14th June, Home Secretary Priti Patel plans to deport dozens of asylum seekers to Rwanda. 14 Syrians are among up to 100 people who have been notified they will be sent to Rwanda. It’s totally unprecedented and if the flight takes off the government will be ripping up its obligations to provide safety for people fleeing war and persecution – and setting a dangerous example for other countries.

Seeking asylum is a basic human right, not a crime. Refugees should be protected no matter where they’re from or how they reach the border, not removed to third countries before they’ve even had their cases fully considered in the UK. MPs from across the benches have slammed the government’s ugly policy, which is also being challenged in the High Court, but time is running out. Email your MP now to persuade even more MPs to speak out to stop the deportations and reverse this inhumane policy.

Waad al-Kateab, award winning filmmaker of For Sama, fled Russia’s intense military bombardment of Aleppo in 2016 and sought refuge in the UK. She said: “Like me and my family, these people were forced out of their own countries. They had no choice about losing their home, identity and loved ones. Their only choice was to do anything they could to survive. Searching for support and hope in the UK, I can’t believe they now face being sent away to another country. How can we allow human beings to be treated this way? We can’t. UK politicians must act now.”

This cruel policy is a total abandonment of the UK’s responsibilities to protect refugees. The Rwandan government has a record of arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearance and torture – and the Home Office even acknowledges that LGBTQI+ refugees face discrimination in Rwanda.

Those facing deportation are in severe distress and charities have reported that a number of them have contemplated suicide, including a Syrian man who faces being separated from his teenage brother if he is deported. MPs have just five days left to pull the brakes on the government’s racist and inhumane move. Please email your MP now to help stop the UK government’s shameful policy and protect the right to claim asylum in the UK for all individuals at risk.