Some of the asylum seekers who could be deported from the UK to Rwanda as soon as Tuesday have threatened to commit suicide if their removal from the country is consummated. "I can't eat, I can't sleep. Why do I have to go to Rwanda?” asks Zahir, a pseudonym under which a 25-year-old man hides who does not want to give his real name for security reasons, he fled Iraq two months ago, as reported by the chain of Sky News television.
Zahir has explained that he left his native country because his life was in danger after he fell out with a member of his family who had ties to the Iraqi government and had threatened to kill him.
His 5,600-kilometre journey through Turkey and Europe lasted about a month, most of the time he was hidden in the back of a truck on a trip organized by human traffickers.
The young man says that he spent nine days in Calais before embarking on a flimsy boat to reach the United Kingdom, reaching the British coast on May 23 of this year.
He is not the only one who has made this journey in recent years. In 2021, 28,526 people crossed the English Channel in small boats to the United Kingdom, according to official data. In 2020 there were 8,404.
Less than a month after setting foot on the beaches of Dover, the British authorities have informed him that he and a friend with whom he was traveling will be on the first plane to Rwanda this Tuesday.
“We are very, very nervous, we are very, very unhappy. We do not know what to do. We don't know why we're here," Zahir told Sky News by telephone from Colnbrook House detention center near London Heathrow airport.
The possibilities of resorting to Justice are reduced and it seems more and more likely that the young man will fly 9,600 kilometers to the African continent and an uncertain future.
“In the Ministry of the Interior they asked each of us: 'Why are you leaving Iraq? Why do you want to ask for asylum?' and I only said "my life is in danger", Zahir has sentenced.
British authorities said in April that people who arrived in the UK illegally via the English Channel and other routes would be rounded up and sent to the East African country to seek asylum there.
The agreement with Rwanda will allow British authorities to send asylum seekers who cross the English Channel to the African country. The agreement is endowed with 120 million pounds -144 million euros- and will focus mainly on men without family responsibilities who arrive in the United Kingdom through boats or trucks.
Last year, the British Government expressed its concern about the "continued restrictions on civil and political rights and freedom of the press" in Rwanda, in an intervention before the United Nations. However, after the agreement with the African country, Johnson said that Rwanda is one of the safest countries in the world.