Rwanda asylum flight canceled after legal action



A last-minute legal dispute has resulted in the cancellation of the first flight that was supposed to transport asylum seekers from the United Kingdom to Rwanda on Tuesday.

It had been anticipated that as many as seven persons will be relocated to the east African country.

However, because of the intervention of the European Court of Human Rights, the flight had to be canceled (ECtHR).

Priti Patel, the Secretary of State for the Home Department, expressed her “disappointment” but stated that she would not be discouraged and that “planning for the next flight begins immediately.”

After a string of unsuccessful legal challenges in Britain, the airline decided to cancel the flight after a judge in the United Kingdom ruled that the flight could go as planned.

The aircraft was supposed to take off from a military airstrip in Wiltshire at 22:30 BST, but all of the passengers had to be removed from it after a series of linked rulings from the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and courts in London.

In a statement issued a few hours before the scheduled takeoff of the flight, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) announced it had given an “urgent interim measure” in the instance of an Iraqi man who is only known by the initials “KN.”

According to what was stated in the document, such petitions were only approved on a “extraordinary basis, where the applicants would otherwise face a serious risk of irreversible harm.”

This decision ran counter to a ruling that had been made by justices in London, who had determined that there was no immediate danger to individuals who were being deported to Rwanda.

The European Court of Human Rights is responsible for upholding a number of human rights laws, including those that the United Kingdom and a number of other countries have signed. It is not affiliated with the European Union in any way.

It only took a little more than an hour for the entire plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda on Tuesday night to come crashing down like a house of cards. This was made possible by a number of linked judgments, all of which were triggered by one verdict from the European Court of Human Rights.

It appeared as though the seven remaining passengers who had orders to board the Boeing 767 that was warming up at MoD Boscombe Down had exhausted all of their available options; however, the Strasbourg court, which has the final say in matters pertaining to human rights, ruled that one claimant had raised genuine concerns regarding the scheme, as well as the fact that British judges had not yet properly investigated the conditions in Rwanda.

Because of that judgment in just one case, the remaining men decided to file appeals, some of which were heard by courts in London. In the end, every single one of the removal orders was canceled.

Nevertheless, we are not abandoning the policy. What we do not know at this time is how the justices will finally rule when they investigate the Rwanda policy the following month.

This conflict, which involves ministers, attorneys who are seen as adversaries by the ministers, and now the European Court, has only just begun.

On Friday, a judge from the UK’s High Court determined that the Rwanda removals strategy ought to be subjected to a comprehensive review. However, the judge also declared that Ms. Patel would be operating lawfully if, in the meantime, she transferred some asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Should it be determined that the policy violates any laws, there is a possibility that certain individuals will be extradited from Rwanda to the United Kingdom.

“Despite repeated past victory in our local courts,” Ms. Patel stated that it was “quite surprised” that the European court had interfered.

She stated, “I have always indicated that implementing this policy will not be an easy task, and I am sad that a legal challenge and claims made at the last minute have resulted in today’s flight being canceled.”

“At this time, the members of our legal team are conducting a review of each and every decision that was made during this flight, and preparation for the subsequent flight has already begun.”

Earlier, Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that he would not be deterred from the policy and claimed that the government had always understood that it would be a “long process” with a lot of legal challenges. He also stated that he would not be deterred from moving through with the program.

In addition to that, he stated that the government “very well” may be required to amend the legislation in order to assist it with the policy.

But charitable organizations and the Church of England have voiced their opposition to the policy, and some people have expressed relief that the flight has been canceled.

Enver Solomon, chief executive officer of the Refugee Council, stated that the fact that the flight was unable to take off was “indicative of the inhumanity of the plan” and that the government needed to reevaluate its strategies by having “a grown-up dialogue with France.”