Protesters lying in the road vow to stop ‘racist’ deportation of migrants to Rwanda

Boris Johnson defends Rwanda deportation policy

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Five asylum seekers were due to be flown to Rwanda from the UK from Stansted airport. This came after Britain struck a £20-million-pound deal with Rwanda to send some migrants, who arrived by crossing the English Channel in small boats from Europe, to live in the East African country. The activists, affiliated with campaign group Stop Deportations, blocked the coach as it left Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre.

They blocked both the main road and a back entrance by lying down in the road.

The organisation described the policy as “racist and discriminatory”.

There is a heavy police presence at the scene.

In a press release, Stop Deportations said: “No one should be on this flight.

“No one should be deported under such racist and discriminatory policies.

“It’s clear we cannot trust the courts to give us true justice and prevent this racist, fascist deportation, so that’s why we have taken action.

“No deportations, not to Rwanda or anywhere else.”

But it has faced controversy since its inception, with human rights campaigners seeking to block it from advancing.

There were initially fears that the first flight would be grounded, after human rights lawyers tabled numerous legal claims on behalf of the 31 individuals due to be deported.

However, many of the claims were dismissed.

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants described the Rwanda scheme as “unspeakably cruel”.

Meanwhile, the United Nations’ refugee chief called it “catastrophic”.

The entire leadership of the Church of England has also denounced the scene as “immoral”.

But Mr Johnson said the Government had expected the scheme would be hit by “attacks” from people who support an “open-doors approach to immigration”.

He said: “We have always said that we knew that this policy would attract attacks from those who want to have a completely open-doors approach to immigration, who want people to be able to come across the Channel without let or hindrance.

“There are very active lawyers in this field.

“I have the utmost respect for the legal profession but it is also important we stop criminal gangs.”

The Prime Minister added: “I think it’s very important that the criminal gangs who are putting people’s lives at risk in the Channel is going to be broken – is being broken – by this Government.”

“They are selling people a false hope, they are luring them into something extremely risky and criminal.”

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