Refugee brothers, 16 and 27, fleeing the Syrian war split up and were sent to Rwanda


The distraught Syrian said he would rather kill himself than abandon his teenage brother. The couple fled the war-torn country after being tortured by the regime

Migrants in Dover, Kent
Migrants in Dover, Kent

A refugee facing deportation to Rwanda says he would rather kill himself than leave his teenage brother, who can stay in the UK.

Nine refugees will be on the first flight to the capital Kigali on June 14, according to the charity Care 4 Calais.

Four others were told they would be sent “immediately” – including two men who claim to be 16.

Syrian Saleh, not his real name, is dismayed at having to leave his 16-year-old brother behind.

“I would rather kill myself than call my mother and tell her I’m 1,000 miles from Abdel in Rwanda,” he said.

Saleh, 27, went directly to the government and asked: “Why are you doing this to me if you are not with other asylum seekers? Why Rwanda?” He says he fled the civil war in Syria after being tortured by the regime.

Migrants are brought ashore from an RNLI lifeboat in Dover last month


Agency Anadolu via Getty Images)

He and Abdel crossed the canal separately.

Saleh was caught and taken to a detention center where he was told he would be sent to Rwanda.

“They didn’t back down,” he said.

Of his brother, he added, “I failed to take care of him when the smuggler broke us up and I failed again.”

Refugees arrive in Britain (file photo)



Care 4 Calais works with 70 out of around 100 refugees who have received a deportation order.

A spokeswoman accused ministers of scaring refugees who have already “escaped the worst things in this world” to discourage them from coming here, adding: “Is that what we want to do as a civilized nation?”

The Home Office says they are receiving training, shelter and health care to “rebuild their lives” in Rwanda.

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