Swansea Rwanda Deportation protest in Castle Square, June 2022
Swansea Rwanda Deportation protest in Castle Square, June 2022

The inhumane deportation policy of sending asylum seekers to Rwanda started this week.

The UK Conservative Government announced earlier last month that the first group of asylum seekers under this scheme will be deported on Tuesday 14th June.

The Government plan to send refugees fleeing persecution and war to a country that has a recent history of genocide and a current record of human rights abuse is abhorrent. Israel abandoned a similar scheme to send their refugees to Rwanda on the basis that the refugees there face persecution, murder and rape.

The Home Secretary’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda has come under continued legal challenges, with ongoing emergency proceedings taking place in the high court last week.

The first deportation flight, close to costing half a million pounds, is reported to be only carrying between 7 and 30 people. The Government has claimed that this policy will initially cost £120 million but there is no final figure.

Instead of Britain being a safe sanctuary and a champion for human rights the Conservatives seem hell-bent on sending those who have endured hardship, suffering and sacrifice into harm’s way and to feed prejudice and ignorance.

As a city of sanctuary, Swansea is a place of hospitality and welcome. Opening our doors to those refugees seeking sanctuary from war and persecution. Swansea has offered a home to people who have lost theirs. We offer a hand of friendship, not a fist of resistance; we are a community of communities, moving forward together in an uncertain world.

The Governments unethical and unworkable policy denies the right of refugees and asylum seekers to seek sanctuary in our city. We are a nation of sanctuary in Wales, and we look forward to having the resources and the opportunity to open our hearts and homes

Prior to the Ukraine invasion UK was fifth in the level of asylum seekers across Europe and Seventeenth as a proportion of the population. Now as 5 million flee Ukraine UK has taken a tiny fraction of this burden yet continues to whip up hostility to those in greatest need of friendship.

The Home Office is failing to do the practical things we need and instead is continuing with this unethical and expensive scheme Obviously careful checks need to be in place for refugees but throwing them from the frying pan into the fire is a stain on our proud history so this cruel and unnecessary policy must be stopped and in Swansea we are united in our opposition to it as a city of sanctuary.

The Government’s ugly plan to deport people to Rwanda is the start of the #AntiRefugeeLaws that seek only to punish those who need protection. As a signatory of the campaign, The Government’s ugly plan to deport people to Rwanda is a disgrace and must be stopped and we should show our support for refugees.

In Swansea, protests took place, to show opposition to the policy tonight in Castle Square where residents from across our city stood in solidarity and support with those in great need.

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