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Developing: Rwanda deportation flight cancelled minutes before take-off after European Court of Human Rights steps in

The first flight due to take asylum seekers from the UK to Rwanda was cancelled minutes before take-off. Photo: Pixabay.

The first flight due to take asylum seekers from the UK to Rwanda was cancelled minutes before take-off. Photo: Pixabay.

Published Jun 15, 2022

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Cape Town – The first flight due to take asylum seekers from the UK to Rwanda was cancelled minutes before take-off after legal rulings on Tuesday evening.

According to media statements, after a late intervention from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) which has now led to fresh challenges in the UK courts, the flight was cancelled.

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Home Secretary Priti Patel said she was “disappointed” but said: “Preparation for the next flight begins now.”

The home secretary said: “Our legal team are reviewing every decision made on this flight and preparation for the next flight begins now.”

The UN refugee chief on Monday, described a UK plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda as “all wrong”, saying it would create a catastrophic precedent for other countries.

“This is all wrong, this deal, for so many different reasons,” Filippo Grandi told journalists at a Geneva press briefing. “The precedent that this creates is catastrophic for a concept that needs to be shared, like asylum.”

A UK court decided on Monday, that the first flight to take migrants arriving illegally in Britain to Rwanda could go ahead on Tuesday after judges dismissed campaigners’ attempts to win an injunction to stop it.

The Court of Appeal in London has refused to grant an injunction to block Britain from sending its first flight of asylum seekers to Rwanda.

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