London (The Times Groupe)- UK deportations to Rwanda stalled after European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) steped in.
In a last-minute injunction, the European human rights court has stopped deportation of a small number of asylum seekers. The United Kingdom’s first flight to Rwanda hasn’t taken off as scheduled.
Asylum seekers, charities, and religious leaders fiercely criticized the UK government’s plan to deport asylees on Tuesday, and the government had to fight multiple legal challenges in London courts to halt the flight.
Several asylum seekers were scheduled to travel from an air force base in southwest England on Tuesday, but just before they were scheduled to leave, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) granted injunctions to prevent their deportations.
“I have always said this policy will not be easy to implement, and I am disappointed that today’s flight was unable to depart due to last-minute legal challenges,” UK Home Secretary Priti Patel said.
“It is very surprising that the European Court of Human Rights intervened despite numerous previous successes in our domestic courts,” Patel said.
The Home Secretary said the government would not back down in its deportation plans and prepared for the next flight.
At least 30 individuals who were supposed to be on the first flight successfully argued against deportation to Rwanda on health and human rights grounds within the last few days.
As to one of the men due for deportation, an Iraqi, the ECHR ruled he “should not be deported until a final domestic decision in the ongoing judicial review proceedings is delivered”.
The High Court in London will hold the judicial review in July to determine whether the scheme is legal.
“Last ticket cancelled. NO ONE IS GOING TO RWANDA,” the charity Care4Calais, which had launched legal action on behalf of a number of the refugees, said on Twitter.