Suella Braverman has insisted Rwanda is a safe country for migrants, despite evidence that 12 Congolese refugees were shot dead by police there in 2018.
When presented with the evidence on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme, the home secretary said she was “not familiar” with the case.
The government plans to send some migrants to Rwanda if they arrive in the UK through illegal routes.
The High Court has found Rwanda to be safe, Ms Braverman said.
But she acknowledged the plans were still facing a legal challenge.
She also refused to commit to a date for achieving the government’s goal of stopping small boats crossing the Channel.
And it was notable that Ms Braverman would not repeat her previously stated hope of getting legal immigration under 100,000 a year – not least because there is tension in the cabinet over what is realistic.
Under the government’s proposals, people who arrive in the UK through illegal routes could be sent to Rwanda on a one-way ticket to claim asylum there.
In December the High Court ruled the plan was legal, but the decision is going through an appeals process.