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Rwanda Johnson to raise human rights issues with Rwandan leaders while pushing ahead with deportation deal

BORIS JOHNSON is expected to raise human rights issues with Rwandan leaders this week despite pushing ahead with plans to deport refugees to the African nation. 

Downing Street confirmed that the Prime Minister was likely to bring up human rights issues “as he has done in the past,” during his trip to Rwanda for the Commonwealth leaders summit. 

“We want Rwanda to uphold and champion the Commonwealth values, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights. And we want due process for all those in detention and fair and transparent application of the rule of law,” the official added.

It’s understood that Mr Johnson was not planning on openly embracing his government’s policy of deporting refugees on a one-way ticket to the country during his visit, during which he is expected to meet with Rwandan President Paul Kagame. 

Nor is he planning on visiting the centres where refugees, who are forcibly removed from Britain, would be housed.

Amnesty International UK’s refugee and migrants rights director, Steve Valdez-Symonds, said Rwanda has a “troubling human rights record,” including evidence of enforced disappearances, torture and serious violations of the right to free expression. 

Mr Valdez-Symonds said the British government was “effectively supporting the continued repression of people in Rwanda under President Kagame’s regime” with the asylum policy.

Last year, the British government raised a series of human rights concerns with Rwanda — only to secure a deal to deport vulnerable refugees to the African nation months later. 

It comes as a date for the judicial review challenging the policy was set for July 18. The hearing will take place over three days with a decision expected by the end of July. 

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