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UK gov’t barred by ECHR from deporting three individuals to Rwanda

Addressing the House of Commons on Wednesday, June 15, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that his cabinet will “continue to take the tough decisions taking this country forward and decisions that are on the side of the British people,” referring to a policy that would see migrants sent back to Rwanda.

The British government has been forced to halt the deportation of three individuals who arrived in the UK illegally, back to their home country of Rwanda – by a ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

PM Johnson was seconded by Home Secretary Priti Patel, who pointed out that “the European Court of Human Rights did not rule that the policy or relocations were unlawful, but they prohibited the removal of three of those on last night’s flight.” The prohibition against deporting those particular individuals is also not an indefinite one. She also said that “anyone who has been ordered to be released by the courts will be tagged while we continue to progress their relocation.”

It should be noted that the three individuals in question were a part of a larger group of at least 30 individuals scheduled to be on the first flight to Rwanda. Those who were spared deportation by the ECHR ruling argued that they should not be deported to Rwanda on health or human rights grounds.

Secretary Patel has also voiced her criticism of the decision taken by the ECHR, saying that “this decision by the Strasbourg court to intervene was disappointing and surprising given the repeated and considered judgments to the contrary in our domestic courts, we remain committed to this policy.” She also added that the Johnson cabinet “will not be deterred from doing the right thing. We will not be put off by the inevitable legal last-minute challenges, nor we will allow mobs […] to block removals.”

PM Johnson himself said as much earlier, furthermore, the ECHR ruling has brought about demands from some Conservative lawmakers for Britain to pull out of the European Convention on Human Rights altogether. Addressing such calls, the spokesman for PM Johnson said that the government “will do whatever it takes to deliver this new approach, including being prepared to explore any and all further legal reforms that may be necessary,” and that it is “keeping all options on the table, including any further legal reforms.”

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