In early September, the high court in London carried out a judicial review of the British government’s plan to deport refugees to Rwanda.
On the first day, Raza Hussain KC told the court: ‘Rwanda is a one-party state that does not tolerate political opposition. It is a regime that repeatedly imprisons, tortures and murders those it thinks its political opponents. Those who protest or dissent from government directives, including refugees, are faced with police violence.’
The case was brought by four asylum seekers facing removal to Rwanda, along with Care4Calais, Detention Action and the Public and Commercial Services Union (to which many customs and Border Force officers belong).
Government documents disclosed to the defence are reported to have revealed concerns such as the recruitment of refugees (including teenagers) to conduct armed operations in neighbouring countries.
The United Nations high commissioner for refugees provided evidence that almost all LGBT asylum-seekers had left Rwanda because it failed to process their claims and that the refusal rate for Afghan, Syrian and Yemeni people was 100 percent.
Judgement has been postponed until after a similar case in October.