Category Archives: Refugees

Why is the UK sending children to an African country with human rights issues?

Say what you like, the UK has a more-or-less good record for looking after children – certainly in comparison with many other countries.

So why are Boris Johnson and Priti Patel sending refugee kids to Rwanda?

That country’s poor history regarding human rights is a matter of record. Its government wants us to think all that is behind it now – but we have no way of knowing the claim is true.

And children require more specialist care than adults – for obvious reasons.

Yes, we see pictures showing that

the Hope hostel in Kigali is building outdoor facilities that will include football pitches, basketball courts and outdoor toys

but how do we know that’s not just for show?

Even then, Boris Johnson refused to visit the facility, triggering alarm bells among some of us. He said it was because it isn’t occupied yet.

And more alarms must have been triggered when the prime minister’s spokesman, challenged on the policy of sending children to the east African country, could only evade the question with the weak response that

“I think 90% of those coming across are men.”

Brace yourself for a torrent of abuse stories – if this policy is put into full practice.

Source: Rwanda making preparations to take children removed from UK

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Why are asylum-seekers to be electronically tagged? What is their crime?

Priti Patel: it would be better if she were not only electronically tagged but also gagged, to prevent her causing further harm to innocent victims.

Priti Patel’s Home Office is planning to electronically tag asylum-seekers arriving in the UK, as though they were criminals (or people accused of criminality) rather than refugees from persecution.

The decision has been likened to “victim blaming” – an opinion endorsed by This Site – although the Home Office itself is twisting language to claim the trial will examine whether electronic monitoring can help maintain regular contact with migrants and help to progress their claims.

Perhaps someone has been in contact with the “Nudge Unit” to get help to convince us all they’re doing the right thing? If so, it’s not working!

Ministers faced calls to abandon the “farce of a policy” after suggestions that those who recently avoided being sent to Rwanda after a legal challenge could be among the first to be tagged under the programme.

Clare Moseley, founder of the Care4Calais charity, said: “I think it’s outrageous. Refugees in general do not abscond. There’s no data that shows that they do – they never have done. They are here to claim asylum, so why would they? They’re not criminals, they’re victims. Things happen to them. They didn’t cause it. It’s just another part of the government criminalising refugees, which is basically victim-blaming.”

Apparently the number of decisions on asylum applications has plummeted while Patel has been busy victimising innocent people, created a huge backlog.

And of course, by attacking victims of persecutation and exploitation, she is doing nothing to eliminate criminal people-smuggling gangs.

The Tories get away with this by “othering” the asylum-seekers and refugees.

By making them look like criminals, they are hoping enough of the electorate will be gullible enough to believe that is what they are. I hope they are mistaken.

Source: Outrage over scheme to electronically tag asylum seekers arriving in UK

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Are Tory Rwanda deportations part of a nasty election strategy?

Don’t believe the hype: these two are on the same side really.

Found on Twitter: here’s a thread that’s worth reading.

This Site has been making the same point for years, of course.

Of course, if Starmer is allied with the Tories on this issue, then is he really the man to lead the Opposition to them?

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Who thought the first deportation flight to Rwanda would be stopped? You were right!

Priti Patel: she announced the deportation flights in April – and has been humiliated by the cancellation of the first.

Yes – some of us saw this one coming from a long way away!

The first flight to deport people seeking asylum in the UK to live in Rwanda instead has been halted after a series of last-minute legal appeals.

Oh what a shame. Another Priti Patel plan bites the dirt – and not a moment too soon.

The flight was called off after the European Court of Human Rights intervened.

In a statement hours before the flight’s planned departure, the ECHR said it had granted an “urgent interim measure” in the case of an Iraqi man, known only as “KN”, and one of seven remaining passengers.

An out-of-hours judge was then tasked with examining the remaining half dozen cases.

The flight was originally intended to take 30 people to the African country that is accused of human rights abuses – but has been cancelled after the number was whittled down to nothing.

The architects of the scheme – Boris Johnson and Priti Patel – have said this is a setback but they are determined to make it work.

Johnson suggested lawyers representing migrants were “abetting the work of criminal gangs”.

But this is reducing the situation to a ridiculous degree.

The plan will break the 1951 Refugee Convention that has set the standard for the way that governments should deal with people fleeing persecution in other countries for more than 70 years.

Johnson and Patel have sidestepped the convention by ignoring the complex set of problems surrounding each asylum-seeker and refusing to accept that their arrival is to do with anything more than the criminal acts of people smugglers.

The government has also been accused of acting irrationally in treating Rwanda as a “safe third country”. Critics have correctly pointed out that Rwanda’s record on human rights is flawed.

Still, Patel has vowed that the government will “not be deterred” from its plan and “many of those removed from today’s flight will be placed on the next”.

It’s threatening language from an extremely unpleasant individual.

One can only be left with a sense that the UK’s government is acting against the best interests of the asylum-seekers in its care – unloading them onto a foreign country without the slightest interest in their well-being.

That, of course, is exactly the reason these people don’t want to go.

Johnson and Patel have said they may consider changing the law to make it possible to push the deportations through.

That is exactly the behaviour of a rogue state.

Source: First deportation flight to Rwanda halted after last-minute legal appeals

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Will Tory rebels do something useful and stop the deportations to Rwanda?

Callous, immoral and possibly homicidal: Priti Patel announced the plan to send asylum-seekers to Rwanda in April.

There’s less than a week to go before Home Secretary Priti Patel sends the first flight of asylum seekers into exile in Rwanda.

Tory rebels who gave Boris Johnson a bloody nose with their strong response to a confidence vote in his leadership could stop it.

But will they?

There are plenty of reasons for them to do it.

The plan will break the 1951 Refugee Convention that has set the standard for the way that governments should deal with people fleeing persecution in other countries for more than 70 years.

Johnson and Patel have sidestepped the convention by ignoring the complex set of problems surrounding each asylum-seeker and refusing to accept that their arrival is to do with anything more than the criminal acts of people smugglers.

The roughly 100 men selected to be on the first flight have reacted in ways that are painful to learn: one group staged a five-day hunger strike; others have threatened suicide. At least two of those being sent out may not even be adults.

Charities including Freedom from Torture are taking legal action on grounds that the government is violating the refugee convention – and also acting irrationally in treating Rwanda as a “safe third country”.

The Home Office has acknowledged that there are grounds for concern about the way LGBTQ+ people are treated there.

And critics have correctly pointed out that Rwanda’s record on human rights is flawed.

Perhaps that is why Rwanda itself has created, and continues to create, countless refugees of its own, with at least 287,000 Rwandans – possibly as many as a million – having fled the regime of President Paul Kagame.

“Kagame is a stooge: he’s a conman of the West in dubious business including, now, human trafficking,” is how one such Rwandan exile [Etienne Mutabazi] describes the president and his £120m deal with the UK Government.

The Kagame regime is not content with creating exiles, though – and has been implicated in abducting and killing exiles across Africa for years.

Despite these facts, the UK and other Western governments are keen to send their asylum seekers into the care of the Kagame regime – from which many may become refugees for a second time, it seems.

“The West does not care because it’s not happening on its shores,” [Mutabazi] explained. “If you were caring, you wouldn’t negotiate [with Kagame]… [The deal] is immoral, unethical and illegal.”

And it isn’t even deterring refugees from coming to the UK, according to the latest figures.

About 9,000 people have arrived in the UK on small boats so far this year, almost half since the Rwanda policy was launched.

There are better ways of dealing with a refugee problem that, in the UK, is minute compared with that of other nations.

Tory backbench rebels would earn a huge amount of credibility by pushing Johnson into abandoning this lunatic cruelty and adopting sensible policies (some are suggested in the source article).

And they would be showing us that they do have the backbone to restrain the UK’s out-of-control prime ministerial maniac. But can they?

Source: The Guardian view on deportations to Rwanda: cut out the stunts

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Priti Patel told to stop lying about refugees by UN agency

Hate face: would you trust Priti Patel with a duty of care over any human beings at all?

Priti Patel should stop lying that refugees from foreign countries arriving in the UK are merely “economic migrants” looking for  a bit of easy money.

That’s the gist of a report by the United Nations’ refugee agency:

The United Nations high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) told the Guardian that those travelling by small boat to the UK should be considered to be asylum seekers or refugees, and not migrants.

“Based on currently available Home Office data, UNHCR considers that a clear majority of those recently arriving to the United Kingdom by boat are likely to be refugees. Refugees and asylum seekers are not, and should not be described as, ‘migrants’,” the spokesperson told the Guardian.

“Access to asylum should never be contingent on mode of arrival or nationality. Equally, the only way to establish whether people are refugees is through a fair and efficient determination of their claims, for which the UK has a clear responsibility.”

The intervention comes as the Home Office prepares to deport the first set of people to Rwanda, after Patel announced her intention to emulate a failed Israeli plan to do the same that was wound up a few years ago.

The policy is explicitly focused on people who arrive via so-called “irregular” routes, such as in small boats across the Channel or hidden in lorries.

Here’s the part of the Home Office statement referring to this (that isn’t waffle):

“Only those with inadmissible asylum claims who have made dangerous, unnecessary and illegal journeys will be relocated and to suggest otherwise is wrong.”

Inadmissible in what way?

Because they arrived by an “irregular” route? Who defines what is an “unnecessary” journey and what are their criteria?

Are they as described by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees? If so, is the UK breaking UN rules again, as it did with sick and disabled benefit claimants?

And will the Tory government get away with it yet again, after the UN proved utterly toothless in effecting change?

Source: Clear majority of people crossing Channel are refugees, says UNHCR

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Home Office staff take government to court with concerns ‘culture of fear’ is illegal

Minister for inhumanity: Priti Patel’s “Hostile Environment” policies have involved Home Office staff in illegal activities in the past. Now she is being challenged in court to prove her plan to deport asylum-seekers to Rwanda is not also against the law.

10 years after the launch of the ‘Hostile Environment’ policy, representatives of Home Office staff are challenging the government in court over things they are being asked to do.

The Public and Commercial Services Union and the Immigration Services Union are challenging Priti Patel’s policies to “pushback” small boats in the English Channel and to deport asylum-seekers to Rwanda.

They have strong justification: the “pushback” policy is likely to break international law on asylum while the idea of deportations to Rwanda copies a previous policy by Israel – that didn’t work and was abandoned.

And the Conservative government has a record of “Hostile Environment” criminality.

We all know – don’t we? – about the Windrush Scandal that illegally targeted for deportation a generation of people who had the right to live in the UK but whose documentation had been destroyed.

The Home Office has also wrongly accused 34,000 international students of cheating in English language tests and failed to ensure that innocent people were not wrongly deported.

An Institute for Public Policy Research report in 2020 concluded the hostile environment policy had fostered racism, pushed people into destitution, wrongly targeted people who were living in the UK legally, and had “severely harmed the reputation of the Home Office”.

In the wake of the Windrush scandal the Home Office committed to introduce a total transformation of the department, including a review of the hostile environment policies – and failed to complete it.

So it should be no surprise that civil service representatives are trying to protect workers from having to take part in Priti Patel’s potential crimes.

One glance at comments on the “Hostile Environment” policy by Nazek Ramdan, the director of the charity Migrant Voice, should make the reason crystal clear:

“Perhaps no other policy in living memory has left such a malign mark, a stain like an oil slick. It is racist, xenophobic, immoral, illegal, unfair, punishing, divisive, mean-spirited, discriminatory and counterproductive.”

Source: Home Office staff worry they may be asked to act illegally in ‘culture of fear’

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Rwanda policy has made illegal migration problem WORSE

Priti Patel: she and her boss Boris Johnson are the only people who deserve to be carted off to live in an African dictatorship. They’re too stupid and pig-headed to be allowed to stay in the UK’s government.

Priti Patel’s plan to send people accused of being illegal migrants to Rwanda has not stopped boats crossing the channel but has sent some asylum-seekers into hiding – creating a cost, and time, burden for the authorities, while others have resorted to self-harm – creating work for the NHS.

Meanwhile, prime minister Boris Johnson has announced that the government is preparing to deport the first 50 migrants to Rwanda – and to spend who-knows-how-much-money defending the decision in the courts.

So, all things considered, these two idiot Tories have achieved nothing more than a waste of public money, and public organisations’ time.

What a pair of [insert expletive of your choice here].

Apparently, more than 7,000 people have crossed the channel in small boats in the first four months of the year – more than three times as many as last year and more than seven times as many as in 2020.

The latest available government figures show 792 migrants arrived in small boats in the week from 2 to 8 May.

The Tories are saying their deportation policy will take a considerable time to push through, as legal challenges will “take time”.

But Patel said she would not be deterred…

The government says the new scheme will be a major blow to people smugglers and will stop people dying on dangerous routes to the UK.

… certainly not by the facts, it seems.

Meanwhile, Johnson has been taking an opportunity to denigrate the lawyers who will stand up for the migrants’ rights.

In an interview with the Mail, he said:

“There’s going to be a lot of legal opposition from the types of firms that for a long time have been taking taxpayers’ money to mount these sort of cases, and to thwart the will of the people, the will of Parliament. We’re ready for that.

“We will dig in for the fight and we will make it work,” he added. “We’ve got a huge flowchart of things we have to do to deal with it, with the leftie lawyers.”

How strange. It isn’t the “leftie lawyers” who are wasting a fortune on a pointless policy of persecution.

It’s this profligate prime minister and his psychotic home secretary.

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Lords cave in on undemocratic Tory laws ahead of closure of Parliament

Have you got your ID? If not, you won’t be able to vote in Parliamentary elections across the UK or local elections in England after the Tory government succeeded in restricting the number of people allowed to exercise their democratic right, affecting millions of people. Are you among those targeted by this?

A mass of undemocratic and despotic new laws are to come into being after cowardly Lords gave up their opposition to corrupt Tory government plans.

The Nationality and Borders Bill is to receive Royal Assent after peers gave up their principles.

It means Priti Patel’s plan to send asylum-seekers to live in Rwanda, rather than the UK, will be put into practice just as soon as she can get all the mechanisms in place, and never mind that it costs more than sending these people to live at the Ritz.

It will also become a criminal offence to knowingly arrive in the UK illegally. This is hugely contentious because Patel has closed down all legal routes for asylum-seekers to enter the UK. The daughter of refugees herself, she has literally pulled up the ladder behind her, as the saying goes.

Fortunately, it seems other organisations have more backbone than the Lords. According to the BBC,

More than 200 organisations, including Oxfam and Save the Children, said they would challenge its outcomes, calling it “anti-refugee”.

The Elections Bill has been passed by both Houses of Parliament, meaning the Tory government will be able to restrict whether you are allowed to vote or not, based on whether you have a particular form of photographic identification. Millions of people don’t.

Meanwhile, the 15-year limit on rich UK citizens living abroad being allowed to vote will be scrapped.

The undemocratic upshot of these two measures will be that it will be much easier for people living overseas to vote – and without any barriers like photo ID, while it will be much harder for domestic citizens to do the same.

The Tory government is also seizing control of the Electoral Commission, meaning oversight of the way electoral law is administered will no longer be independent and your corrupt government will be able to twist the way elections are run in order to suit itself.

Finally, a bid to deprive even more people of access to justice has been passed: the Judicial Review and Courts Bill will stop the funding of bereaved families’ legal representation at inquests involving public bodies. If This Writer understands correctly, it means that if somebody dies because of a failure by such an organisation, their families will be unable to seek justice from those responsible unless they are independently wealthy (which seems unlikely).

Parliament is being prorogued today (Thursday, April 28), having been back in session for only a matter of days after the Easter break. It will not meet again until May 10, when a new session will begin with a Queen’s Speech laying out Boris Johnson’s plans for the following year or so.

Some legislation has been carried over to the new Parliamentary session, including the long-awaited and controversial Online Safety Bill, which will seek to criminalise certain abusive and antisocial behaviours on the Internet and regulate online companies in line with those measures.

The big surprise for many people must be the silence from Opposition leader Keir Starmer. He should be trumpeting that a Labour government will reverse the corrupt and undemocratic measures in these new laws but instead it seems he supports them.

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Did Patel drop her ‘pushbacks’ policy against asylum-seekers – or did it never exist at all?

Patel: did she deliberately mislead members of the House of Lords last autumn and is the Home Office trying to cover up for her now?

This is odd.

The BBC is reporting that Priti Patel has abandoned her plan to turn back migrant boats crossing the English Channel, ahead of a court challenge.

But The Guardian has already told us that this policy never existed at all.

It certainly seems true that the High Court was going to hear a legal challenge by the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), and the NGOs Care4Calais, Channel Rescue and Freedom From Torture on May 3.

But it also seems true that the court had already refused the Home Office permission for public interest immunity against publishing the details of its alleged pushback policy – and those details, once brought into the light, showed that there was never any plan to turn back asylum seekers.

The Home Office comment that “there are extremely limited circumstances when you can safely turn boats back in the English Channel” therefore rings true.

But the Graun also said that Patel had assured a House of Lords committee that turning boats full of asylum-seekers away from the UK was “absolutely still policy”, last autumn.

The claim that the policy has only now been dropped has muddied the issue.

So it seems to This Writer that the Home Office needs to publish the policy that was written into the Nationality and Borders Bill at the time she spoke those words, to allow us to establish whether she lied to Parliament then and an attempt is being made to deceive us now.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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