An Albanian trafficking victim aboard a British flight to Rwanda has claimed he was suicidal about the prospect of being sent there, before the flight was cancelled by an order from the European Court of Human Rights.
The British government sparked controversy when it announced failed asylum seekers and those awaiting decisions would be sent to Rwanda in a deal costing British tax payers millions.
Yesterday, the first plane, a private jet carrying seven people including an Albanian was ready to take off from London before the court ruling at the last minute prevented it.
Among those on board was a young Albanian asylum seeker who said he was trafficked from Albania to France.
“In Albania I was exploited by traffickers for six months. I was trafficked to France, I did not know where they were taking me,” he said.
He told the British media prior to his flight that he considered taking his own life instead of getting on the plane.
“I’m in a very bad mental state. I knew nothing about Rwanda. I have never been to Africa and I don’t think it will be safe for me. I can’t return to Albania because the traffickers there will kill me. The only safe place for me is the UK,” he said.
The UK is a leading destination for Albanian asylum seekers that claim political persecution, trafficking, organised, crime and even domestic violence. But the issue is the country is considered safe in terms of returning those who apply. Despite this, the UK does grant Albanians protection in the country and only a handful are sent home.