Rwanda accuses UN refugee agency of lying about country’s treatment of asylum seekers




By Anadolu Agency

Rwanda accused the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Tuesday of presenting fabricated allegations to UK courts about the country’s treatment of asylum seekers amid concerns about a migration deal that Britain signed with Kigali.




The accusations came a day after the UN refugee agency warned UK judges that it could have new evidence from 2024 that Rwanda has endangered asylum seekers, even when the British Parliament passed a law declaring Rwanda a safe country for the UK to send asylum seekers.




In the latest intervention, the UNHCR told the High Court on Monday that it is investigating new allegations of abuses and of individuals potentially being sent to countries where they could be tortured.

A judge has granted the UNHCR permission to prepare a dossier before a flight of asylum seekers can leave the UK.

A statement by the office of Rwanda’s government spokesperson said the “UNHCR is lying.”




It said one of the cases that the UNHCR has referred to relates to a man who was denied asylum in Seychelles, and the organization unilaterally decided he should be given asylum in Kigali without consulting authorities.

“The organization seems intent on presenting fabricated allegations to UK courts about the country’s treatment of asylum seekers, while still partnering with us to bring African migrants from Libya to safety in Rwanda through the emergency transit mechanism,” the statement said.

“As we have said time and again, Rwanda does not refoul asylum seekers. The UNHCR seems intent on undermining the safety of Rwanda within UK courts.”

Britain struck a controversial migration deal with Rwanda in April 2022 that would facilitate sending some migrants who arrive in the UK across the English Channel to the East African country, where their asylum claims would be processed.

In April, British lawmakers passed the Safety of Rwanda Bill amid criticism by opposition parties and charities representing asylum seekers.

The legislation was initiated to unblock a Supreme Court ruling which said the scheme was unlawful.

British media indicates that there will be no flights before at least July 24 and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said flights will go on once he is reelected.