The London Court of Appeal has rejected an appeal filed by immigration rights advocates and public employee unions seeking an injunction to temporarily block deportation flights, which are scheduled to begin Tuesday.
A planeload of 31 claimants is due to depart Tuesday (today).
Raza Husain, one of the migrants lawyers, had argued that the government’s plan involved the forceful removal of asylum-seekers to a country they don’t want to travel to as part of a policy intended to deter others from attempting to enter Britain.
“This amounts, on any view, to a serious interference with basic dignity … where those individuals have already suffered significant trauma and have mental health issues,” he said in the court filings.
The case before the Court of Appeal in London was filed by a coalition of groups.
They wanted to quash a lower court ruling that would allow the first deportation flight to take off on Tuesday, June 14.
Similarly, activists are challenging the deportations on a person-by-person basis, seeking to ensure that no migrants will be eligible for deportation even if the flights are allowed to go ahead.
According to Husain, the lower court’s move not to issue an injunction against the deportations “cannot rationally be sustained” because of concerns about the protection of migrant rights in Rwanda.
Following this,, there is a significant chance the policy will ultimately be blocked by the courts, exposing the government to claims for damages from anyone wrongly deported, Husain said in filed documents.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has, however, defended the scheme costing approximately $160 million saying it will “save countless lives” from human trafficking.
Kigali says migrants will be entitled to full protection under Rwandan law, equal access to employment, and enrolment in healthcare and social care services as well as the issuance of necessary identification documents.
So far, Rwanda has made public five hotels in Kigali that have the capacity to accommodate 350 people. Three of them are Hope Hostel, locally known as “One Dollar Campaign” complex, Desire Resort Hotel and Hallmark Residences.
The actual number of the migrants to be relocated has not been announced yet, but the signed deal indicates that any male migrant caught trying to enter the UK territory illegally by boat or hiding in vehicles will be shipped to Rwanda.
Some of the prepared hotels are equipped with the basics such as kitchens, gym equipment, swimming pools, TV sets, utensils, single or double beds, while others have shared dining rooms and bathrooms.
The known hotels are all located in Kigali. Officials say the migrants will be treated like any hotel guest, refuting claims regarding human rights allegations.