Refugee who fled to Rwanda criticises UK’s plan to fly migrants to country

Refugee who fled to Rwanda criticises UK’s plan to fly migrants to country

A refugee who fled to Rwanda and been given asylum in the UK has criticised government plans to fly unauthorised migrants to his home country.

The 42-year-old journalist told the Guardian that despite being granted refugee status, he remains in fear of being targeted by Rwandan government agents in the UK.

After leaving school in Kigali he decided to become a journalist after he lost many family members in the country s 1994 genocide, because he had concerns about government corruption. He worked for a newspaper that was critical of President Kagame and his government, and was later shut down.

He was accused of being an enemy of the state and was captured trying to escape for four months, blindfolded and tortured across the border.

His torturers who used electric shocks on him tried to get him to reveal the names of his journalistic sources working for the government, but he refused.

He eventually managed to escape to the UK, where he had a mental breakdown. After a long legal battle, he claimed asylum and was granted refugee status, with the Home Office accepting his account of what happened to him.

The plan to send unauthorised asylum seekers on a one-way ticket to Rwanda has been condemned by the government as inhumane and unworkable. The prime minister outlined the proposals to hand an initial downpayment of 120 m to Kagame's administration in the hope that it will accept tens of thousands of people.

He said that so many Rwandans have fled the country. It is not good for anyone who criticises Kagame. Not so many Rwandans come to the UK but some escape to Germany, Belgium or Holland or to other African countries like Zambia and Mozambique. Rwanda is a good country for image but not for freedom of speech. I am really shocked that the offshoring to Rwanda is going on. It is shameful for a country like the UK to be doing this. He said it was like a business.

People will suffer there, but it won't stop the smuggling gangs. I think asylum seekers will get bad treatment in Rwanda. I live outside London because of the Rwandan embassy in London and I don't want to be near them. Many Rwandans who have left the country live in fear wherever they are. He said he was scared of what would happen to him if he was sent back to Rwanda. Those who oppose Kagame end up in prison. The Rwandan government uses torture and violence against their opponents.