LONDON – In a breaking development on the Rwanda deportation flight scheduled to depart later this evening, activist group “Stop Deportations” have blockaded the Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) to prevent a coach transporting asylum seekers to the airport for deportation to Rwanda.
Protestors locked themselves together with metal pipes and blockaded exits at Colnbrook IRC, Heathrow, where the remaining detainees the Home Office intended for deportation to Rwanda are being held.
The Rwanda deportation policy has been the subject of multiple legal challenges in the High Court and Court of Appeal in the past few days.
Although the courts did not grant an injunction to stop today’s flight, pending a full hearing on the legality of the policy, multiple successful challenges have been made on behalf of individuals.
The Home Office originally intended up to 130 deportees to be on the flight. Charter flight operator Privilege Style has been contracted by the UK Home Office to handle the deportation flights.
The number of deportees has progressively dwindled from the original expected figure, with five people still at risk of being deported to Rwanda earlier this afternoon. Two further injunctions are believed to have been won since then.
In a press release made earlier today the activist group ‘Stop Deportations’ expressed their opposition to the deportation flights, saying:
“No one should be on this flight. No one should be deported under such racist and discriminatory policies.”
“This policy is the result of years of portraying migrants as less than human beings; it makes it possible for the Home Office to inflict pain on them and get away with it.”
“We the public refuse to accept the Home Office’s cruel, inhumane and unlawful plans.”
Several air carriers have declined to involve themselves in deportations, removals and the air transportation of immigration detainees and asylum seekers.
Further injunctions just won…
As mentioned, two further asylum seekers have had their departures postponed by 11th hour court injunctions this evening. It is understoood that one of the pair is an Iraqui-Kurd man who only secured a lawyer yesterday.
The situation is fluid and continues to develop, with the ‘Stop Deportations’ group reporting via social media at the protest site outside the IRC.
The group also reported that two of their activists have been arrested by police, with 12 police vehicles currently in attendance at the Colnbrook IRC.
This is a developing story and AviationSourceNews will continue to provide followers with key updates.