UK plans to monitor asylum seekers with tracking devices

Saturday June 18, 2022 | 3:30 p.m.

Asylum seekers who arrived in the UK irregularly will be monitored through electronic tracking devices, according to a government pilot plan revealed after suffering a court defeat in its attempt to deport these migrants to Rwanda.

The test, lasting 12 months, could be applied massively to adults who are going to be expelled after arriving on the island for what London calls “dangerous or unnecessary” routes, the public broadcaster BBC said, citing sources from the Ministry of the Interior. .

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was important “to make sure asylum seekers can’t disappear into the rest of the country”, though critics say the new plan treats them like criminals.

According to the BBC, the first to be monitored are those who were to be sent to Rwanda this week and whose deportation was blocked at the last moment by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

That decision was branded this Saturday as “totally scandalous” by the British interior minister, Priti Patel.

On Tuesday night, the British government had prepared a charter flight, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, to transport the first migrants and asylum seekers affected by its new and contested policy to Rwanda.

But the ECHR, a jurisdiction of the Council of Europe based in Strasbourg (France) that supervises compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights, opposed it, ruling that the British justice must first examine in detail the legality of the plan.

“You have to see the reasons” for this decision, Patel told The Telegraph newspaper. “How and why did they make this decision? Was it politically motivated? I think so, totally,” he added.

“The opaque way in which this court works is totally scandalous,” he said in remarks quoted by the AFP news agency.

The blockade of the plane bound for Rwanda took place after multiple individual appeals were filed in court.

Despite the criticism, the British government expressed its determination to continue with its controversial deportation project.

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