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Tories’ Rwanda safety bill is an abuse of the rule of law

<span>‘This government is attempting to declare Rwanda safe as a matter of law simply because it says so.’</span><span>Photograph: James Manning/PA</span>
‘This government is attempting to declare Rwanda safe as a matter of law simply because it says so.’Photograph: James Manning/PA

The joint committee on human rights was right to be so strident in its assessment that the government’s Rwanda bill is fundamentally incompatible with human rights (UK’s Rwanda bill ‘incompatible with human rights obligations’, 12 February). No tinkering with this bill can make it fit basic tenets of the UN refugee convention, Human Rights Act and European convention on human rights, and judicial independence.

This government is attempting to declare Rwanda safe as a matter of law simply because it says so – an abuse of law that one would expect from an authoritarian regime. Human rights are not fair-weather concepts for a government to simply abandon at its convenience, and if our government pursues that course, then others will feel more licensed to do the same, threatening the entire global system of rights and protections and making us all significantly less safe.

It is urgent that all those committed to any true notion of the rule of law in this country should not only heed the committee’s warning, but also confront what has yet again led the government to present a thoroughly indecent bill to parliament – its miserable policy of simply refusing to take responsibility for the asylum claims that this country receives.
Sacha Deshmukh
Chief executive, Amnesty International UK