Yesterday, in a short statement, we condemned the violence of EU borders that had led to the death of dozens of precarious travellers in the Aegean Sea, and in the Central Mediterranean. Now, after a weekend in which we were involved in various distress cases, we want to highlight the devastation that has taken place in all three regions of the Mediterranean Sea over the last three days.
Off Tunisia, following yesterday’s shipwreck, the death toll has increased to over 50, and more can be presumed to have died, as many remain missing.
In the Aegean, some of the names of the 9 deaths have been revealed. Five children from a single Kurdish family drowned: Derin Rashid (13 years), Dldar Rashid (10), Shihar Rashid (8), Dzhwar Rashid (8), and Amina Rashid (3). We as the Alarm Phone had been alerted to the case, during the early hours of Sunday morning. We received their GPS position and the information that some had gone already overboard. We spoke repeatedly to the Turkish coastguards, who started a rescue operation with aerial assets and rescue vessels. For many, however, they came too late.
Also in the Western Mediterranean, we were witnesses of mass fatalities. On Saturday, we worked on a case off the coast of Morocco, involving a boat carrying 9 people in total – 8 men and 1 woman. They had left already the night before. We tried to call them but could not reach them. We informed the rescue authorities but for a long time, it remained unclear whether they had been found or not. Our contact person in Morocco informed us on Sunday that he thinks that many of them have lost their lives. The lifeless body of one woman has been found. It is unclear where the others are, but we have to fear the worst.
In one weekend, we witnessed mass fatalities in the three regions of the Mediterranean, in two cases we were directly involved in. This was a difficult weekend for us, and we cannot even begin to imagine how cruel it must have been for those who sought to embark on a journey to a better life but did not make it. They died because of Europe’s borders, and the lives of their relatives and friends, their loved ones, will never be the same. We want to voice our deepest condolences and apologise to them that we were not able to help them. Freedom of movement for all, and now.
WatchTheMed Alarm Phone, 04.06.2018