As Britain presses ahead with plans to send migrants to Rwanda, Hadi, a gay asylum seeker who fled Iraq, said he would rather be sentenced to death.
According to a controversial law, The UK plans to send asylum seekers suspected of having arrived illegally on British soil to Rwanda, an East African country located 6,000 kilometers (3,728 miles) from London, from mid-June.
Sitting in a park In the gay village of Manchester, a neighborhood in the heart of the northern English city, Hadi – not his real name – told AFP about his escape from persecution and attempted rape in Iraq.
He wears the scars are still there.
“I was beaten on my arm and back and passed out from the pain,” he said.
Hadi, who is in his 20s, applied for asylum in January in Great Britain 2022 after crossing Europe from East n After crossing West.
When he heard about the plan to send migrants to Rwanda, he thought he was reliving his worst nightmares.
“We have suffered and are facing it Escaped death, We crossed the sea, all be sent to Rwanda? Kill me or sentence me to death instead of sending me there,” he said.
He described the move as “unjust and criminal”, which would amount to a “death sentence for all refugees” – and demanded it Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel to abandon the plan.
Although homosexuality is not illegal in Rwanda, LGBTQ people are frequently fired, rejected by their families, deprived of medical care and sometimes beaten.< /p>
The UK Home Office, the Home Office, admitted in a report to having “concerns” about the treatment of LGBTQ people in Rwanda.
“Why do you want to deport them to Rwanda? So they’ll be persecuted even more?” said Aderonke Apata, who founded the NGO The African Rainbow Family and helps LGBTQ migrants integrate into British society.
Apata, herself a lesbian and former Asylum seeker, said Hadi “lives in fear every second”.
“He thought Britain respected gay rights… Now that he’s there, he’s suddenly faced with the prospect of being deported to become.”
She expressed fears that there would be “no oversight of what … happens in detention,” arguing that the oversight mechanisms to be put in place in Rwanda are unrealistic be.
“Here in the UK, I personally had a homophobic attack when I was in prison,” she recalls.
“It was here in the UK. Now tell me, if people are taken to Rwanda now, who will protect them?
“For me, what the government is doing is a way of washing their hands of the conventions that protect human rights guarantee refugees,” added Apata.
The government says its plan aims to discourage the growing number of migrants from making the perilous journey across the English Channel.
More than 28,000 people arrived in the UK crossed the English Channel in small boats from France in 2021, compared to 8,466 in 2020, 1,843 in 2019 and 299 in 2018.
But the move has drawn heavy criticism from human rights groups who legally launched on Wednesday are taking action to block it.
It is unclear when the first flight will be able to take off amid the court challenge.