UK home secretary says Rwanda is safe for asylum seekers

Britain’s interior minister, Suella Braverman, says she is convinced Rwanda is a safe country for the resettlement of asylum seekers, but she has declined to set any deadline for the first deportations there.

The British government is hoping to send thousands of asylum seekers more than 6,500km (4,000 miles) away to the East African country as part of a 120-million-pound ($148m) deal to deter people from crossing the English Channel from France in small boats.The plan was announced in April last year, but the first deportation flight was blocked by an injunction from the European Court of Human Rights.

London’s High Court ruled in December that the scheme was legal, but opponents are seeking to appeal that ruling.

Britain last month released details of legislation that would bar the entry of asylum seekers arriving in small boats. It would prevent them from claiming asylum and would aim to deport them either to their homelands or to so-called safe third countries.

Some charities said the proposed law could be impractical and criminalise the efforts of thousands of refugees.

Home Secretary Braverman was asked by the BBC about a violent protest over rations in a camp in Rwanda in 2018, which Rwandan police said resulted in the deaths of at least five refugees.

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