Priti Patel accused of trying to deport former Iranian police officer to Rwanda | Priti Patel

Priti Patel has been accused of trying to deport a former senior Iranian police officer who fled to the UK after giving first-hand testimony of potential human rights violations by the Iranian authorities.

Counsel for the Iran Atrocities Tribunal –also called the Aban Tribunal – in London has written to the house secretary saying {that a} named former officer within the Iranian police has been detained within the UK and been advised he shall be despatched 4,000 miles to Rwanda subsequent week.

In a letter seen by the Guardian the counsel claims the former officer fled to the UK in May after being sentenced to 5 years in an Iranian jail for refusing orders in 2019 to hearth indiscriminately upon crowds of protesters.

Patel introduced final week that the primary deportation flight to Rwanda would go away on 14 June. Lawyers consider the flight could also be delayed as a result of of authorized challenges in opposition to the controversial transfer.

Hamid Sabi, counsel to the Iran Atrocities Tribunal, wrote that the former police officer arrived within the UK by a small boat on 14 May 2022 and is presently detained in Brook House detention centre. On 31 May, he was served with discover that he shall be despatched to Rwanda, the letter claims.

“[The former police officer] is a conscientious and brave citizen of the world, and he has a genuine and well-founded fear of persecution in Iran.

“Iranian agents were seeking his whereabouts while he was in Turkey by harassing his family members. Rwanda, having a close relation to the Islamic Republic of Iran is not a safe haven for [him]. Please reconsider your decision for his removal,” Sabi wrote in his letter to Patel.

The former officer advised the tribunal that he was in cost of dozens of officers in a provincial metropolis when he was ordered by the authorities to shoot at peaceable demonstrators.

According to the letter, he was tried earlier than a disciplinary court docket in Iran for disobeying the order to shoot and was sentenced to 5 years.

He fled from Iran to Turkey within the autumn of 2021 and testified by video hyperlink earlier than the tribunal in November, the letter claims.

On 15 November 2019, the Iranian authorities introduced that gasoline costs had tripled, main strange residents to protest within the streets. The nationwide protests had been peaceable and solely consisted of individuals blocking roads with their vehicles and shouting slogans.

Over the week that adopted, protests in most cities, cities and provinces had been repressed by police and navy forces who attacked protesters and bystanders with firearms. Hundreds had been killed, 1000’s extra injured, arrested or tortured.

The Iran Atrocities Tribunal was arrange by three NGOs to study proof of human rights violations in Iran throughout late 2019.

The Home Office has additionally been accused of making an attempt to deport unaccompanied 16-year-olds to Rwanda within the first wave of asylum seekers.

One particular person who stated they had been beneath 18 was positioned in detention awaiting potential deportation to Rwanda and solely launched on the finish of May, following intervention from legal professionals.

Another two asylum seekers recognized by one charity as having acquired warnings of imminent removing and presently held in immigration detention centres say they’re 16, however their age is contested by the Home Office.

Those presently detained for offshoring embrace Syrians, Sudanese, Afghans, Eritreans, Iranians and Iraqis, some of whose residence nations are lively battle zones.

A gaggle of asylum seekers dealing with offshoring launched into a starvation strike final week and on Friday dozens in Brook House detention centre close to Gatwick airport began a protest within the train yard.

A Home Office spokesperson stated individuals mustn’t make harmful and unlawful journeys to the UK, including: “We remain fully committed to working with Rwanda to offer safety to those seeking asylum.”

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