The United Kingdom is carrying out, this Tuesday, the first flight that takes migrants seeking asylum and who enter the country illegally back to Rwanda. The British Government’s plan is to resend single men arriving in the UK from across the English Channel in small boats. If the process is successful, the migrants will stay in Rwanda.
Pedro Neto, executive director of Amnesty International in Portugal, says that we are facing a violation of human rights and a failure of humanity. “In the Brexit process, these issues were lacking. Now the United Kingdom and Boris Johnson do what they want and, as he is being pressured in his position, it is normal that he seeks populist measures to be able to leverage again. cause is the failure of humanity, people being treated as if they were goods and returning people who left Rwanda because they were in danger. Thus, they asked for asylum, as provided for in international law and these requests are being refused, without an individual analysis and they are returning these people. It’s as if we’re talking about merchandise and not human beings.”
According to the plan announced by Boris Johnson, this measure is part of a new strategy to combat illegal immigration and the criminal groups that support it. For Pedro Neto, the European authorities failed. “A process like this cannot take place to negotiate with countries, whether a person arrives legally or illegally is not up to him. What Boris Johnson’s government and the authorities have to see is that it has to be analyzed case by case then decide what to do.”
Amnesty International fears that other countries could follow in the UK’s footsteps and says there are already worrying signs. “There are other political leaders who already use the issue of refugees and migrants as a bargaining chip, namely Turkey with the European Union, in which there are even agreements for the exchange of people. We also have crises on the border between Mexico and the US. These leaders politicians like Boris Johnson, among others, only talk about the problem of border security, but there is no help here to address the problem at source and reduce these migratory phenomena.”
More than 160 non-governmental organizations have already classified the English government’s measure as “cruel and petty”. According to the British government, 32 immigrants are due to be taken to Rwanda this Tuesday and more flights are already planned for the coming months.