Utopia 56: An NGO denounces France and the United Kingdom for the death of 27 migrants in the Channel | International
French NGO Utopia 56 has filed a complaint for “manslaughter” and “non-assistance” against coastal security officials in France and the United Kingdom after the deaths of at least 27 migrants in the Channel last month, the worst shipwreck in years in this area. In a sample of the complexity of the migratory conflict in this region, which provoked a harsh confrontation between the governments of Paris and London, the very day the association announced its legal action in Paris, in Calais, the epicenter of dramatic migration- politically, the death of a Sudanese teenager who had tried to board a truck to cross the Eurotunnel and that of a Portuguese truck driver who died of cardiac arrest, allegedly after an altercation with others migrants who wanted to board his vehicle were known.
The trial of Utopia 56, one of the most active migrant aid associations in the Calais region, is directed against the maritime prefect of the Channel and the North Sea, Philippe Dutrieux, and Marc Bonnafous, director regional coastguard, as well as against Claire Hughes, head of the British navy and “against any other author, co-author or accomplice that the investigation determines,” said the NGO in a statement on Monday. The complaint, filed Friday with the prosecutor’s office in Paris, aims to clarify what happened in the hours before a fishing boat alerted, in the afternoon of November 24, that it had seen bodies floating in the waters of the canal and if the emergency services could have intervened sooner than they did. According to “the testimonies of the two rescued people, of people close to the deceased and others who managed to make the crossing on the same day, calls for help were launched to the French and English rescue services before the bodies left. be discovered, [pero] no immediate help was provided â, explains Utopia 56.
The migrants “tried, from 2:30 am to 2:40 am, to contact the French and British rescue services,” the NGO’s lawyer, Emmanuel Daoud, told franceinfo on Monday. âThey also called their relatives to tell them that they were lost, that their boat was sinking. What is striking is that infinite time has passed, as the fishing boat recovered the first bodies from 2:00 p.m., and that is when the rescue was officially recorded. It will be necessary to know, and I hope that justice will do it, whether or not these appeals were handled in a coordinated manner, in compliance with the laws in force, âhe added. And he indicated that it would not be the first time that the British and French rescue services “passed the buck” in an attempt to relieve responsibility.
In recent days, the identification of the victims of November 24 has been completed. According to the Paris prosecutor’s office, there are 16 Kurds-Iraqis, including a 7-year-old girl, a 16-year-old teenager and four women between 22 and 46 years old; as well as a 23-year-old Kurdish-Iranian, three Ethiopians, a Somali, four Afghans, an Egyptian and a Vietnamese. Only two of the passengers managed to survive. It is a Somali and another Kurdish-Iraqi. The latter assures that there were 33 people aboard the wrecked boat, but only 27 bodies were found, in addition to the two rescued.
This sinking, which caused a new clash between Paris and London, was the worst disaster of its kind in the Channel, an area where sea crossings aboard precarious ships have exploded – more than 30,000 in 2021, against 9,551 in 2020 – due to increased security from 2018 on the Eurotunnel and road access to Calais which made the previously traditional land routes of irregular migration extremely difficult. However, these have not completely ceased, as shown by two incidents recorded in recent hours.
A 16-year-old Sudanese man died early Monday as he tried to board a truck near Calais to smuggle to England. The young man managed to get into the vehicle, but when the driver, an Eastern European man, pulled away, the boy fell from the trailer. The teenager died during his transfer to the hospital, according to Agence France Presse. In another event, a 48-year-old Portuguese truck driver also died after an alleged altercation with a group of migrants who attempted to get into his vehicle and allegedly punched him in the face, although it is not clear that this attack is the cause of death, produced by cardiopulmonary arrest. However, the local prosecution is investigating the incident, which occurred in a rest area on the A16 motorway, some 27 kilometers south of Calais.
Join MRT to follow all the news and read without limits.
At the same time, the French army continued to investigate on Monday an incident that occurred on Sunday in Calais, when a military all-terrain vehicle from the anti-terrorism operation Vigipirate carried out several skidding maneuvers traveling in the opposite direction on a site surrounded by tents. irregular migrants before being half-sunk in a puddle, from which he was only able to get out with the help of another military vehicle that came to his rescue and with the support of several migrants, as evidenced by footage from a photojournalist who recorded the incident. As soon as they learned about it, the military staff “strongly” condemned the “totally inappropriate” behavior of the driver and promised to impose the “appropriate sanctions” once the responsibilities were clarified.
Follow all the international information on Facebook Yes Twitter, o fr our weekly newsletter.
Disclaimer: This article is generated from the feed and not edited by our team.