THE Scottish Greens have slammed the Tory Government for ignoring accusations that Rwanda had recruited refugees to fight in combat before implementing their scheme to send asylum seekers to the African country.

Ahead of an inquiry later this year into the “immoral” Rwanda scheme, documents were revealed on Wednesday that showed the Government was made aware of a number of human rights concerns raised by officials before signing off on the policy.

Concerns raised included the high risk of fraud due to the large sums of money the UK was paying Rwanda, worries over human rights abuses in the country and “limited evidence” that the policy would offer an effective deterrent to those seeking to enter the UK illegally.

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One of the most controversial warnings was that the UK Government was warned that Rwanda had been accused of recruiting refugees to engage in armed combat in neighbouring countries.

Commenting on the revelation, Scottish Green MSP Maggie Chapman said: “These revelations are shocking and shameful, but they are not surprising. Unfortunately, they are totally consistent with the uncaring, racist and authoritarian Home Office that has shown a total disregard for the rights and wellbeing of refugees and migrant communities."

"The Rwandan government's appalling human rights record is not a secret, even if the Home Secretary and her colleagues have chosen to ignore it."

"None of this happened overnight. It was built on years of ideologically-driven hostility and dehumanisation. It's not just this disgraceful scheme that needs to go, but also the Home Office that has implemented it and the UK government that introduced it."

The list of concerns raised by officials to the Government include:

• On 10 February 2021, the UK high commissioner to Rwanda warned the Government should not deal with Rwanda as the country had been accused of recruiting refugees to fight in neighbouring countries

• On 18 February 2021, Rwanda was listed as one of 14 countries assessed as having substantial issues in relation to asylum systems and was given an amber/red government rating due to concerns

• A 20 May 2021 Foreign Office memo advised No 10 not to deal with Rwanda due to concerns over human rights

• An internal memo criticised the “limited evidence about whether these proposals will be a sufficient deterrent for those seeking to enter the UK illegally”

• An internal memo seemingly dated 12 April 2020 - the day before the UK signed a memorandum of understanding with Rwanda - stated that the deal’s “fraud risk is very high” because of the large upfront sum the UK would have to pay the African country

• A document from the same day the memorandum was signed said that the first asylum seekers to arrive in Rwanda could “test” Rwanda’s determination processes

• The UK Government showed its independent assessment of Rwanda’s human rights record to Rwandan officials and allowed them to suggest amendments

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Commenting on the revelations, Stuart McDonald, the SNP's shadow home secretary, said: "The Rwanda policy is callous to the core and should never have seen the light of day.

"These damning revelations - including the UK high commissioner to Rwanda warning against the proposals over human rights issues - raise further serious questions that the Home Secretary and UK government cannot duck.

"The SNP has been clear that we want no part in this immoral and impractical policy. It's beyond any doubt that only with independence will we be able to build a new asylum system in Scotland that offers refugees protection and security."