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Shame on UK to deport refugees as ‘criminals’
June 17,2022   By:Global Times
June 17, 2022 -- A special flight carrying asylum seekers from the Middle East, originally scheduled to fly from the UK to Rwanda on Tuesday, was canceled after a last-minute intervention by the European Court of Human Rights.
 
According to the so-called "Asylum Partnership Arrangement" signed by the UK and Rwanda, the refugees who fled to the UK from countries such as Afghanistan and Syria cannot claim asylum in the UK, and will be sent to Rwanda like "commodities."
 
Even the British media described the plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda as "appalling," and UN refugee agency officials have repeatedly pointed out that it is "unlawful" and "all wrong." However, the British government, which has always called itself a "human rights defender," has shown toughness and stubbornness facing these human rights criticism.
 
After the "refugee flight" was canceled, Home Secretary Priti Patel said the government "will not be deterred from doing the right thing" and "preparations for the next flight to Rwanda was starting now." That is to say, the UK will not stop until these asylum seekers are "discarded" to Rwanda.
 
Most of the refugees on this flight came from war-torn countries. Many of the wars and turmoil that forced them to leave their homes were induced by countries including the UK.
 
In the war in Afghanistan, the UK was second only to the US in terms of military input. It can be said that London has a moral responsibility to properly resettle those refugees.
 
But the cold reality is that although the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights criticized a British bill in March that regarded refugees as "criminals," the UK's Royal Navy has been deployed in the English Channel to deal with illegal immigrants. The British soldiers' guns had been aimed at the refugees' home countries in the past, and now they are turning to those refugees who have fantasies about the UK.
 
Surprisingly, this extremely immoral practice, which does not "stand the judgment of God," according to the archbishop of Canterbury, has been labeled by the British government as an act of justice necessary to smash the business model of human trafficking and save the lives of countless immigrants.
 
British politicians are so good at rhetoric. However, some media revealed that the British immigration removal center took away asylum seekers' mobile phones with cameras and did not provide sugar water to the hunger strikers. Isn't this mistreatment? UN Refugee Agency has substantive and procedural standards for refugee orientation and resettlement.
 
Asylum seekers are not commodities. Isn't what the UK did disguised human trafficking?
 
According to the Associated Press, before resorting to Rwanda, the newest member of the British Commonwealth, the UK had also discussed with Albania and the two British overseas territories of Gibraltar and Ascension, hoping to send refugees there, but no agreement was reached, and the proposal was even rejected with anger. In order to justify "exiling" these refugees, Welsh Secretary Simon Hart said "Rwanda is an improving economy with a good human rights record." However, just last year, the British government expressed concerns about the so called-human rights situation in Rwanda in the UN's review of the human rights records of all member states.
 
On the issue of "exiling" refugees, despite constant domestic opposition, the British government, parliament and court share quite a consistent attitude, exposing the selfishness and hypocrisy of the system. The Johnson government even gained political points by showing a populist image that "domestic interests prioritize international morality." The UK is not an isolated case in this regard. The UN Refugee Agency once criticized Australia for sending refugees to Nauru thousands of kilometers away. Law enforcement personnel of the US were condemned by the UN many times for the brutal treatment of refugees.
 
However, it is the US and these Western countries that claim themselves "human rights standard bearers" and "human rights leaders," and are addicted to playing the role of "human rights preacher." They turn a blind eye to human rights violations under their nose, while pretending to care about so-called human rights issues thousands of miles away, and attempting to punish other countries using lies about human rights. It's hypocritical and hegemonic, and smells like rotten colonialism. It's the collective shame of the Western world.
 
The refugee deportation issue is not over. The forces of justice all over the world should exert strong pressure on London because it is violating not only the individual rights of refugees, but also conscience and dignity of the time.
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