Refugees arriving in Britain will be flown to offshore “processing” centres in Rwanda, the government has announced.
The plan is modelled on Australia’s brutal network of offshore camps – widely condemned by human rights groups as at least 12 people died and many more suffered abuse.
According to Human Rights Watch, detainees in Rwanda have suffered from ill-treatment and even torture. The UN refugee agency UNHCR has also criticised the plan, saying it does not support any plans to transfer refugees offshore.
The scheme will also cost over £120 million – enough money to give every refugee in Britain a decent life, instead of spending it on imprisoning them.
It is the latest version of government plans that have failed multiple times before with various possible offshore detention locations, from the remote, volcanic Ascension Island to the use of disused ferries as prison ships.
This plan manages to combine being inhumane and cruel with being unworkable. It must be dropped immediately, this time for good.
The refugees are not doing anything wrong and should not be ‘punished’ for seeking refuge. They should be treated with humanity and respect. One day this could be us.Sheila, Newport
This is inhumane, logistically complicated, not cost effective and a nod back to the dark and shameful days of our colonial past. Not in my name.Nick, Leicestershire
I grew up in Australia, and I know exactly how this goes. It’s a lot harder to close the camps once they’re opened, which is why they need to be stopped now.Liam, Leeds
The in-country detention centres are bad enough. God alone knows what these would be like when there is very little way for them to be properly scrutinised or examined at such a distance.Lyn, Berwickshire
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