LONDON — The British government on Tuesday evening canceled a flight to deport a first group of asylum seekers to Rwanda, following a last-minute intervention by a European court of human rights.
The British government said in April that it would send some migrants who arrived in the country illegally to live in the central African country. The objective, according to the government, is to discourage smugglers. The first group of asylum seekers was to be flown to Rwanda on Tuesday. But in a first setback to this flagship new immigration policy, the seven migrants were removed from the plane after the European Court of Human Rights debated whether they would be returned to the UK if the policy relocation was later found to be illegal. A UK court is due to rule on the legality of the policy in July.