THE Home Office has reportedly hired an aircraft hangar and part of a plane to allow security staff to practice forcibly moving asylum seekers onto deportation flights to Rwanda.

Migrants will be escorted from a detention facility on an airbase one by one by security guards, The Times reports.

Guards have also undergone special training programmes to deal with “disruptive” people and are preparing for the possibility some asylum seekers may become violent in resisting deportation.

The Refugee Council responded to the revelations saying forcible removals would have “devastating consequences for distressed and traumatised refugees”.

Security staff are said to be preparing for scenarios including asylum seekers playing dead in Extinction Rebellion-style protests against their deportations. They are also anticipating “dirty protests” from asylum rights campaigners outside the airbase in an attempt to halt flights.

Staff have reportedly been hired from the private security firm Mitie which has a multimillion-pound contract with the Home Office for managing asylum and immigration detention facilities.

The location of the hangar is not known but The Times said it had been hired for a one-year period.

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Deportation flights to Kigali may begin later this year and the Government is said to be operating on the assumption the Safety of Rwanda Bill will become operational between 8 and 12 weeks after it becomes law, which it is expected will happen in March.

A government source told the paper: “We have a very detailed operational plan to exercise and practice all manoeuvres that are needed to remove people because the logistics are huge. You have to marshal people and it’s such a big logistical challenge.

“You also have to pre-empt a situation where an individual may claim they were manhandled so you need proper space to remove people from their detained facility and have a highly detailed and organised boarding pattern.

“They’ll be escorted one by one and that needs a lot of practice. Otherwise, you can end up in hot water.”

'Unconscionable and unworkable'

Enver Solomon, chief executive of the Refugee Council, said: “The government’s plans will have devastating consequences for distressed and traumatised refugees from countries such as Afghanistan and Syria, who will be left in permanent limbo fending for themselves in the community with no formal status.

“The reality is that they will be in unsafe and dangerous situations as many of them will effectively disappear, facing the risk of abuse and exploitation to avoid waiting indefinitely to be shipped to Rwanda.

“It’s time for the government to admit that its draconian laws are not only unconscionable but entirely unworkable and will simply cause more human suffering.”