Rwanda-UK: Pregnant rape survivor receives deportation order in ‘most egregious case yet’

Rwanda-UK: Pregnant rape survivor receives deportation order in ‘most egregious case yet’
The UK Home Office has told a 28-year-old pregnant rape survivor that she may be deported to Rwanda in what a refugee charity has described as 'the most egregious case' they've come across yet.
3 min read
14 October, 2022
Already pregnant, the asylum seeker travelled to the UK in July via a small boat [source: Getty]

A pregnant rape survivor has been threatened with forced removal to Rwanda by the UK Home Office, according to a refugee charity. 

The 28-year-old, who is 37 weeks pregnant and originally from Eritrea, travelled to Britain in a small boat last July after spending months in a refugee camp in Calais.

Previously, she lived in Sudan after her father was killed and then moved to Lebanon and later France. 

Since receiving the deportation order from the British government, Delina (not her real name) said she is unable to sleep, and her baby has stopped growing, the Care4Calais charity reported in a statement released on Thursday. 

"I knew about the Rwanda plan before I came to the UK but I had to come here because I was not safe in France because I was homeless," Delina told The Guardian newspaper

"I was shocked when I received the letter. I never thought I would get this when I was pregnant," she added. 

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Delina is set to go into induced labour in just under two weeks' time, according to Care4Calais.

The charity's founder Clare Moseley called the situation "the most egregious case yet". 

"This case demonstrates the lack of compassion, cruelty and brutality at the heart of the government’s Rwanda policy," said Moseley. 

The Home Office has said previously it would "consider whether pregnant people were suitable for relocation on a case-by-case basis". 

The government department also said it was "urgently investigating this matter. However, very limited information has been provided to help us establish what has happened or identify the individual," in a statement sent to The Guardian. 

This week, the UK government was back in the High Court defending its controversial scheme against a challenge from Asylum Aid. The NGO argued there is a "real risk that people may be removed without having had rightful access to effective legal advice and the courts".

The High Court hearing follows on from challenges made by Care4Calais, Detention Action and the PSC Union who sought to expose the policy's "illegality" and make the case as to why Rwanda is not a safe "third country". 

During both high court sessions, the UK Home Office maintained claims that Rwanda is a suitable rights-repecting country. This is despite evidence from the UN Refugee Agency which said: "Rwanda is not a safe third country".