The controversial plan to begin removing asylum seekers to Rwanda has been given the go-ahead, pending a high-court appeal on Monday. The first flight is expected to leave on Tuesday (14th June).

Under this new scheme, anybody who arrived in the UK after the 1st of January by routes deemed ‘illegal’ by the Nationality and Borders Bill are eligible to be removed to Rwanda for processing.

There are expected to be 11 asylum seekers on the first flight, down from 37 originally scheduled to fly: 20 planned removals were called off over the weekend due to legal challenges relating to modern slavery and human rights claims. The charity Care4Calais has said 9 Afghans have been notified by the Home Office that they have been identified for removal, alongside Sudanese, Syrians, Iranians, Egyptians,  Iraqi, Pakistani, Albanian, Algerian, Chadian, Eritrean, Turkish and Vietnamese people.

On Friday, a High Court judge rejected campaigners’ bid for an injunction to stop the Home Office’s first deportation flight to Rwanda, though it did result in five people being saved from the removals list. The judicial review was submitted by the Public and Commercial Services Union, the charity Care4Calais, and the civil society Detention for Action. The case challenged key aspects of the policy, including; Patel’s right to carry out the removals, the claim that Rwanda is a “safe third country”, the adequacy of provision for malaria prevention in Rwanda, and whether it upholds the principles of the Human Rights Act. In addition, the court heard that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had several concerns about removals plan, including the potential discrimination against LGBTQ+ people and the lack of legal representation for those facing removal and upon arriving in Rwanda.

While the courts did not step in to prevent the wider process of removals at this stage, Mr Justice Swift did grant the groups permission to appeal Friday’s verdict. Asylum Aid also applied for an urgent interim injunction on Thursday preventing any flights from leaving. The injunction, also supported by Freedom from Torture, will be heard on Monday as will the appeal for Friday’s hearing.

How can you get involved?

  1. Join the Freedom from Torture Campaign

Civil action charity Freedom from Torture has led the public campaign against the removals, sending 15,000 letters from the public to the airlines contracted to carry out the deportations, Titan Airways, Privilege Style and Iberojet. More than 70 public figures have also written to these airlines. Thanks to their successful campaigning, Titan Airways have now pulled out. One down, two more to go! Email the airlines here or call them:

Privilege Style: +34 971 408 900

IberoJet: +34 971 448 082

  1. Show the government the scale of public discontent

Sign one or all of these three petitions:

  1.     Petition · No to offshoring! Stop Government plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.
  2.     Stop Priti Patel’s offshore refugee camps – Ripples
  3.     Don’t send LGBTQI+ people seeking asylum to Rwanda (

And join the protest in London outside the Home Office on Marsham Street, London, on Monday 13 June, at 5.30pm.

  1. Email your MP

You can use our template or this tool from Bail for Immigration Detainees.

  1. Make it personal

Over the weekend, consider taking a selfie holding up a sign saying something along the lines of ‘Stop Rwanda Offshore Detention’ / ‘No Offshoring to Rwanda’. Send your picture to before the end of the day on Monday 13th. Family, friends, children and pets are all welcome to take part.