Asylum Aid is bringing a judicial review to challenge the government’s plan to forcibly remove asylum seekers to Rwanda. We are concerned that the policy tramples over asylum seekers’ rights and the rule of law.

Asylum Aid believes that, among other things, the procedure adopted by the Home Office has unreasonably tight timeframes – only seven days for each detained person seeking asylum to get legal advice and make their case as to why they shouldn’t be sent to Rwanda – and start from a flawed assumption that Rwanda is a safe country for asylum seekers. People are not given enough time or enough information to be able to challenge that assumption. We argue that the plans are flawed, unfair and skewed. The hearing in the High Court is set for 13-14 October.

Speaking about its legal challenge to the government’s proposed forcible removals of asylum seekers to Rwanda Alison Pickup, Asylum Aid Director, says:

The Rwanda plans pose a real risk that people may be removed without having had their rightful access to effective legal advice and the courts. The Home Office is so determined to send people to Rwanda that it designed a process that is far too quick and limited for the people affected to be able to get access to justice and challenge the decision to send them to Rwanda.

The scheme gives asylum seekers, newly arrived and in detention, almost no time to understand what is being proposed, get access to legal advice, and give their reasons for wanting to remain in the UK, which often means disclosing traumatic experiences. And if they don’t, they face the very real prospect of being sent thousands of miles away to an uncertain future in a country which cannot be regarded as safe for them. People must be allowed to go through a fair process, get a fair hearing and a fair outcome.”

Donations to the legal challenge crowdfunder can be made here.