The real reason Boris Johnson plans to send desperate refugees to Rwandan camps
The reality of the Prime Minister’s shameful deal to export asylum seekers is even worse than it first appears.
When Boris Johnson was Mayor of London he claimed to be the most pro-immigration politician in the country.
“I’m probably about the only politician I know of who is actually willing to stand up and say that he’s pro-immigration," Johnson told the London Assembly in 2013.
“I believe that when talented people have something to offer a society and a community they should be given the benefit of the doubt."
He even went so far as to back an amnesty for undocumented migrants, saying that politicians should be "honest" about the value of allowing them to remain in the UK.
Faced with a possible early exit from Downing Street, Johnson no longer sees the value in such honesty.
He has instead devised a scheme that will see refugees forcibly removed to detention and ‘processing’ camps in Rwanda.
In his speech on Thursday, Johnson defended his plan to export refugees to Rwanda, saying that the two countries had a “shared humanitarian impulse” towards refugees.
This will be news to his own government, which just last year noted its regret that Rwanda had failed “to conduct transparent, credible and independent investigations into allegations of human rights violations including deaths in custody and torture.”
It will also be news to international observers, like Human Rights Watch, which recently noted that “arbitrary detention, ill-treatment, and torture in official and unofficial detention facilities is commonplace” in Rwanda.
A scam resettlement
It’s not as if Johnson’s government is even unaware of what will happen to the refugees it exports to Rwanda.
A very similar scheme was agreed between Rwanda and Israel in 2013 and was an unmitigated disaster.
Rather than be allowed to start a new life in the country, the refugees were stripped of their papers and immediately forced to leave the country they had supposedly been resettled to.
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