UN denounces British plan to expel illegal migrants in Rwanda ​

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The British government’s bill to deport illegal migrants to Rwanda undermines fundamental human rights principles, the UN said on Monday.

“The combined effects of this bill, which attempts to shield government action from normal legal scrutiny, run directly counter to fundamental human rights principles,” said the UN High Commissioner for human rights, Volker Türk, in a press release.

Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has made this project the basis of his policy to combat illegal immigration and hopes to be able to implement it before the legislative elections scheduled for this year. In mid-January, he called it an “urgent national priority.”

The bill was drafted in response to the British Supreme Court, which ruled it illegal to send migrants to Rwanda, ruling that the country could not be considered safe for them.

Backed by a new treaty between London and Kigali, the text defines Rwanda as a safe third country and prevents the return of migrants to their countries of origin. But this very controversial project is criticized both by the head of the Anglican Church and by the United Nations.

And last week, a British parliamentary committee found the project “fundamentally incompatible” with the country’s human rights obligations. This commission is particularly concerned about “the obligation for the courts to consider Rwanda as a ‘safe’ country and the limitation of access to the courts to appeal decisions”.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights also criticizes the fact that the draft “significantly reduces the capacity of courts to review expulsion decisions”, and calls for it to be reconsidered in light of the concerns raised by the commission.

“I urge the British Government to take all necessary steps to ensure full compliance with the United Kingdom’s international legal obligations and to preserve the country’s proud history of effective and independent judicial review,” Türk said. “Such a position is today more vital than ever,” he insisted.

The project divides even within the conservative party, with elected officials having criticized the text, while others have called for tougher measures. The latter had tried in vain to amend it before its adoption by the deputies.

This article is originally published on .voaafrique.com

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