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Humanist Society condemns UK government response to supreme court ruling on Rwanda

November 16, 2023

Humanist Society Scotland condemns the UK Government’s response to a supreme court ruling on 15 November which found that its plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda was unlawful. UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak indicated on 15 November that he would introduce emergency legislation confirming that Rwanda was a safe country after the court identified a “real risk” that people sent there might be forced back to the countries they had fled from.

In a press statement issued on 15 November, Humanist Society Scotland CEO Fraser Sutherland said:

It is concerning to hear the UK government’s response to the supreme court decision. The UK has many legal obligations and international commitments against the refoulement of refugees that cannot just be wished away by tinkering with domestic legislation

The Prime Minister in particular has a duty as head of government to respect and uphold the rule of law which is a fundamental cornerstone of democracy. Convention rights are not a political football to be played with for short-term electoral gain.

We continue to support non-religious refugees in Scotland who have fled barbaric and violent persecution because of their rejection of religion. The proposed Rwanda plan is not workable nor does it deter people smugglers, which appears to be the government’s stated aim.

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