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Home Office to ask ECHR to reconsider ruling that blocked it from exiling asylum seekers to Rwanda

THE Home Office will “imminently” ask the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to reconsider its ruling that blocked asylum-seekers from being deported to Rwanda. 

The first deportation flight to Rwanda was due to take off last week, but was blocked following an intervention by the ECHR. 

The ruling by the Strasbourg court, granting interim relief in the case of an Iraqi refugee, led to other deportees having their tickets cancelled in British courts.

The Home Office told the High Court on Monday that the department would be challenging the European court’s interim measure.

In written submissions, Jack Anderson, for the department, said: “Britain has informed the ECHR that it intends to submit representations imminently.”

The news of the challenges were revealed to the High Court as part of claims brought by other asylum-seekers at risk of being removed to Rwanda.

During Monday’s hearing, Mr Justice Swift denied interim relief to three Sudanese victims of trafficking and torture which would have allowed them to be released from detention. 

The three, who have all been identified by the Home Office as potential victims of trafficking, said that being held in detention has exacerbated their trauma, the Guardian reported. 

The judge said that his decision was partly based on concerns about the availability of suitable accommodation to release the asylum-seekers into. 

A charity has called for all detainees facing deportation to Rwanda to be released to suitable accommodation “as a matter of urgency,” warning that detention causes severe harm, particularly to those who are vulnerable. 

Bail for Immigration Detainees research and policy manager Rudy Schulkind said: “These men are already suffering a deterioration in their mental health and the evidence suggests this is likely to worsen as detention becomes prolonged.”

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