Don’t Turn Away Victims of Next Humanitarian Crisis in Genocide-Ravaged Nation

Target: Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of United Kingdom

Goal: Do not deport Rwandan refugees fleeing from violence and potential death.

A disturbing disparity has emerged in many nations’ attitudes toward refugees. The darker the refugee’s skin color, the greater the chances desperate pleas for aid and refuge will be met with dismissal, derision, and outright hostility. The crisis in Ukraine has starkly highlighted these double standards, with white refugees mostly being welcomed with open arms while Black citizens of the country often face more obstacles in their attempts to flee danger. The same sort of conflict is playing out across the world, most recently in the United Kingdom (UK).

The UK government had scheduled several flights to return refugees from Rwanda seeking asylum back to the country. These individuals took dangerous treks, sometimes over thousands of miles, to escape torture, other human rights abuses, and threats to their lives. They recently received a reprieve, however, from the European Court of Human Rights when the entity ruled that the flight could not take off as planned. In response, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has thrown the political equivalent of a temper tantrum by scheduling more flights and threatening to withdraw the UK from the European Convention on Human Rights.

This poisonous anti-immigrant stance could cost lives. Sign the petition below to urge the UK government to relocate its heart and its humanity.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Prime Minister Johnson,

You have rightfully welcomed Ukrainian refugees seeking escape from Russian tyranny, yet when it comes to a nation that endured one of the planet’s most horrific genocides, your policy seems to be a cold-hearted “send them back.” The plight of Rwanda’s refugees is just as urgent and life-endangering. Your solution to put them on a plane and essentially wash your hands of them is one that religious leaders have called “appalling” and Europe’s human rights court has ruled a violation of refugee policy.

You claim you are “saving” these refugees from criminal gangs, but your actions are putting them at direct and very real ongoing risk. Instead of digging in, making the problem worse, and threatening to sever the United Kingdom from human rights standards, perhaps you should listen to United Nations humanitarian leaders who have offered alternatives. Do not take the lifeline away from human beings reaching out for a helping hand.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Fanny Schertzer


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