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Open Letter Racist Rwanda plan and Sunak’s shock detention raids operation breach human rights and must be opposed

WE THE undersigned wholeheartedly oppose the so-called Safety of Rwanda Act and the inhumane way it is currently being implemented. 

We object to people who are exercising their internationally recognised human right to seek asylum being detained for deportation to Rwanda without prior warning.

Simply declaring Rwanda safe does not make it safe. Britain is still currently granting refugee status to asylum-seekers from Rwanda. 

The US State Department said regarding Rwanda that “significant human rights issues included credible reports of: unlawful or arbitrary killings; torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment by the government.”

The Rwanda policy is also costly and unworkable. There are only 300 places for asylum-seekers in Rwanda and costs more than £0.5 billion. The human cost is catastrophic and immeasurable.

We strongly oppose the inhumane Rwanda policy, which is cynically designed to stir up racism and division prior to the general election, to distract from the government’s appalling record on the cost of living and NHS.

Thousands of people seeking asylum have died crossing the Channel. These deaths can be avoided. The only solution to stopping people risking their lives crossing the Channel is the implementation of safe routes for asylum-seekers to Britain, like the Ukrainian refugee policy.

We pledge to campaign against the Rwanda Act and call on everyone who values human rights, a humane approach to asylum rights and opposes racism to join us on Saturday June 29 2024 in London to say “Stop Rwanda.”

Signed, 

Steve Smith, Care4Calais CEO 
Fran Heathcote, PCS general secretary
Gary Younge
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Diane Abbott MP
Kim Johnson MP
Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP 
John McDonnell MP 
Chris Stephens MP
Daniel Kebede, NEU general secretary 
Sabby Dhalu & Weyman Bennett, Stand Up To Racism co conveners
Kudsia Batool, TUC head of equalities 
Mick Lynch, RMT general secretary 
Sarah Woolley, BFAWU general secretary 
Mick Whelan, Aslef general secretary
Jo Bird, Usdaw equalities officer
Wilf Sullivan, Stand Up To Racism national officer 
Mohammad Asif, Afghan Human Rights Foundation 
Laura Cumming, Student Action for Refugees (STAR) campaigns & advocacy manager 
Lindsey German, Stop the War Coalition 
David Rosenberg, Jewish Socialists Group 
Ben Sellers, People’s Assembly national secretary 
Zita Holbourne, Black Activists Rising Against the Cuts (BARAC)
Mohammed Shafiq, PCS chair of black members committee and NEC
Ameen Hadu, Unison chair, North West TUC black workers committee
Jess Edwards, NEU NEC 

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