UK to send first asylum seekers to Rwanda

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The British government was to send a first plane carrying asylum seekers to Rwanda on Tuesday despite last-gasp legal bids and protests against the controversial policy.

A chartered plane was to leave one of London’s airports overnight and land in Kigali on Tuesday, campaigners said after UK judges rejected an appeal against the deportations.

Claimants had argued that a decision on the pol-icy should have waited until a full hearing on the legality of the policy next month. Thirty-one migrants were due to be sent but one of the claimants, the NGO Care4Calais, tweeted that 23 of them had now had their tickets cancelled.

Those due to be deported include Albanians, Iraqis, Iranians, and a Syrian, Care4Calais said.

Other claimants included the Public and Com-mercial Services Union, whose members will have to implement the removals, and immigration support group Detention Action.

PCS chief Mark Serwotka said on Sunday it would be “an appalling situation” if Tuesday’s re-movals were subsequently found to be illegal at the full hearing.

Home Secretary Priti Patel should wait for the July hearing if she “had any respect, not just for the desperate people who come to this country, but for the workers she employs”, Serwotka told Sky News.Protesters gathered outside the Royal Courts of Justice and the Home Office on Monday.

In Geneva, UN refugee chief Filippo Grandi called the UK government policy “all wrong” and said it should not be “exporting its responsibility to another country.—AFP