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Four Rwandans granted refuge in UK over fears of persecution - as government argues country is 'safe'

Four Rwandans have been reportedly granted refuge in the UK over fears of persecution in the East African nation despite the government saying it is an "unequivocally safe" place to send asylum seekers.

The details of the four cases are in addition to the six people who had UK asylum applications approved between April 2022 and September 2023, Home Office figures suggest, according to the Observer.

One of the Rwandans was a supporter of an opposition party led by Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, the newspaper reported.

He was reportedly granted asylum on 12 October, the day after the government's case in the Supreme Court arguing the country was safe.

Another report said he sought refuge in the UK because he feared he would be targeted by Paul Kagame's regime over a family member's suspected links to the opposition.

The revelation comes as the Rwanda bill passed the third reading in the Commons last week by 320 votes to 276.

However, plans could be stalled as a House of Lords majority voted not to ratify an agreement on Monday, which could pose a threat to it becoming an act.

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The government signed a treaty guaranteeing that anyone sent to Rwanda would not be transferred to another country where they could be at risk.

This comes after the Supreme Court last year ruled against the plan of a one-way ticket for those who arrive in Britain via small boats in the English Channel to Rwanda's capital, Kigali.

It said refugees could be sent back to the countries they fled from, making them vulnerable to danger.

The government argued the plan would stop people from making dangerous trips across waters to reach English shores.

A Home Office letter dated 17 October last year reportedly accepted he had a "well-founded fear of persecution".

A spokesperson for the department said: "People from many different nationalities apply for asylum in the UK. This includes nationals from some of our closest European neighbours and other safe countries around the world.

"As part of our response to the Supreme Court's judgment, we have signed a treaty with Rwanda which makes clear that individuals relocated to Rwanda under the partnership will not be returned to an unsafe country."