Channel crossings & UK

Klagen gegen mögliche Pushbacks

Training für Pushbacks im Ärmelkanal. (Foto: Channel Rescue)

Die britische Initiative Channel Rescue dokumentierte im September 2021 Trainings der Border Force für Pushbacks im Ärmelkanal (siehe hier). Tatsächlich durchgeführt wurden diese bislang, soweit bekannt, nicht. Am 24. November 2021 – dem Tag, an dem 27 Exilierte vor Calais ertranken – reichte Channel Rescue eine Klage gegen die britische Innenministerin Priti Patel mit dem Ziel ein, die Durchführung von Pushbacks zu verhindern. Finanziert wird die Klage durch Crowdfunding: Binnen weniger Tage sind bereits £ 25.000 der angestrebten £ 30.000 zusammengekommen. Neben Channel Rescue klagten noch zwei weitere Organisationen, nämlich Care4Calais und Freedom from Torture, gegen die Innenministerin, wobei die drei Klagen unterschiedliche rechtliche Ansatzpunkte wählen. Wir dokumentieren im Folgenden die Erklärung von Channel Rescue auf der Plattform cowdjustice. Interessierte, die zur Finanzierung beteiligen möchten, finden dort die nötigen Informationen.

Stop Priti Patel’s Dangerous Pushback Policy

In September 2021, Channel Rescue volunteers witnessed the UK border force training its staff to use jet skis to employ ‘pushback’ tactics at sea. The aim behind this? To stop small boats carrying people seeking asylum from reaching the UK’s shores. 

Priti Patel has referred to a new policy on ‘pushbacks’, but its details have still not been announced. We have asked the Government to provide a copy of this policy – we think the law is that it has to be published. But we also have serious doubts about whether a ‘pushback policy’ could ever be lawful. 

Both International and English maritime law stipulates that ships are not permitted to put other vessels in danger of collision. We do not believe the practices we witnessed on 13 September could ever be enacted without putting boats, and the people in them, at risk. There is also a maritime legal duty to provide assistance to anyone who is in distress at sea. 

The Home Office’s plans are in stark contrast to these legal obligations. Seeking to turn around boats carrying migrants will inevitably risk the lives of children, women and men who want nothing more than sanctuary.

We believe the plans are not only morally wrong – they are also unlawful. So, we’re bringing a case against Priti Patel, Secretary of State for the Home Office, to ensure that this inhumane and life-threatening policy is never approved or put into action.

We need your support to stop the Government from implementing this policy, and to continue campaigning for safe routes for people who need to seek sanctuary in Britain.

The details:

Channel Rescue have instructed Reed Smith LLP who are working pro bono on this case. The barristers, also acting pro bono, are Chris Buttler QC and James Robottom at Matrix Chambers, and James M. Turner QC at Quadrant Chambers. 

Funds raised are in case of adverse costs if the case gets to court. If the case does not reach court or there are no costs claimed against us, funds will be allocated according to Crowdjustice’s Unused Funds policy.