Prince Charles Reportedly Condemns Rwanda Deportations - Freshered
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Prince Charles Reportedly Condemns Rwanda Deportations

Ellen Knight June 11, 2022

The Prince of Wales has reportedly described Home Secretary Priti Patel’s controversial plans to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda as ‘appalling.’

Both the Times and the Daily Mail have had sources overhear the heir to the throne oppose the new legislation ‘several times in private’, stating that he was ‘more than disappointed.’

This comes as the Home Office’s first deportation flight is set to take off next week, despite objections from both human rights campaigners and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the latter of which has warned that the new scheme is ‘unlawful.’

Not deterred

The first flight to Rwanda is due to leave on Tuesday, June 14, with 13 migrants on board, with a further 130 individuals reportedly informed that they too could be eligible for deportation to Rwanda in central Africa for ‘asylum processing.’

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Prince Charles is allegedly particularly frustrated with the policy as he is due to travel to Rwanda later this month to represent the Queen at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.

On Friday a High Court judge rejected human rights campaigners’ efforts to attain an injunction to stop next week’s flight – Patel has welcomed this ruling, stating that she will ‘not be deterred’ by objections from activists and MPs and any other attempts to ‘prevent [the migrants’] relocation through legal challenges and last-minute claims.’

She added: ‘Rwanda is a safe country […] We will continue preparations for the first flight to Rwanda, alongside the range of other measures intended to reduce small boat crossings.’

The Independent reported that court documents from the High Court ruling show that the Home Office was forced to cancel five deportations for migrants who had appealed, with nearly 100 migrants filing legal challenges to stay in the UK.

High Court Judge Jonathan Swift rejected the attempts to prevent the flight, stating that the risks faced by the deportees in Rwanda were minimal and ‘in the realms of speculations’, and that there was ‘material public interest’ in the Home Secretary’s immigration action.

Home Office lies

However, the UNHCR told the court of their concerns regarding Rwanda’s asylum process, such as limited legal representation and discriminatory practices towards LGBTQ+ individuals. Furthermore, the UNHCR informed the High Court that the Home Office had ‘lied’ when stating that the Rwanda plan came with UN approval.

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The court was told that the UNHCR had informed Priti Patel that her legislation was unlawful and that the UNHCR ‘remained concerned’ about the potential for ‘serious, irreparable harm’ refugees in Rwanda would be subjected to.

Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer has described the Rwanda plan as ‘a chaotic diversion’, adding that Labour planned to form ‘a proper plan with the French authorities’ to oppose people smuggling.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper stated that the UNHCR’s issues with the scheme were ‘damning’, noting that it served as a ‘warning about proper lack of treatment for refugees.’

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Ellen is a freelance journalist studying MA Broadcast Journalism at Cardiff University. Her work has appeared in publications such as Teen Vogue and Al Jazeera, and tends to focus on politics and current affairs. Her involvement in student radio station Burn FM lead to an interview she conducted winning Student Radio Moment of the Year in 2022. She has been writing for Freshered since February 2022. You can follow her on Twitter @ellenmjknight