Survivors of Sunday’s migrant shipwreck accused traffickers of throwing children in ocean to lighten the boat

Survivors of Sunday’s migrant shipwreck accused traffickers of throwing children in ocean to lighten the boat

The survivors of the migrant shipwreck that occurred near the southern Italian shore on Sunday have accused traffickers of throwing children overboard to lighten the load and evade the coast guard.

Italian officials announced Monday that 62 people had lost their lives in the disaster and had their bodies laid out in white bags. Eighty people are known to have survived.

United Nations refugee and migration agencies estimate that at least 100 people set sail from Turkey, but they worry that number could be much higher because survivors have said that the boat originally carried as many as 200 people from Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Sunday morning, off the shore of Italy, the wooden ship ran aground on some reefs.

There are still dozens of persons missing in the stormy seas.

However, a blame game has emerged in Italy as rescuers resume their search.

Right-wing Prime Minister Giorgina Meloni has been criticized for the country’s stance against migrant boats, but she has instead placed the responsibility on “inhumane” human traffickers. Some have pointed the finger at Europe’s Union.

On Monday, survivors started sharing their terrifying accounts of the disaster’s aftermath.

‘The traffickers began to throw kids out; they grabbed them by the arm and threw them in the sea,’ a survivor told the Italian daily La Stampa.

Fourteen children, including a set of twins whose bodies were discovered in the water and a baby whose body was found washed up on the shore, are thought to be among the dead.

According to The Times, one victim was a 12-year-old Afghan child who lost nine members of his family, including his parents. The guy from Afghanistan said that his wife and their three kids had still not been found. “I last saw them on the boat, but I haven’t seen them since then.”

At least 80 survivors from a shipwreck in the Ionian Sea near the coast of Calabria were discovered, the Italian Coast Guard reported.

Hypothermic men were saved by one of the agency’s motorboats.

The death toll of a migrant shipwreck near the southern Italian coast has risen to 62, Italian authorities said on Monday, as they laid their bodies out in white bags (pictured)

Media outlets reported on Monday that three people accused of being involved in human trafficking had been arrested and a fourth was still being sought.

The leader of Italy’s neo-fascist Brothers of Italy party, Matteo Meloni, has spoken out about “her deep sorrow for the many human lives torn away by human traffickers.”

“It’s inhumane to exchange the lives of men, women, and children for the ‘price’ of a ticket paid by them in the false prospect for a safe voyage,” said Meloni, a far-right leader whose governing allies include the anti-migrant League party.

She promised to take action against human smuggling exits and to lobby her fellow EU leaders for assistance.

Those who disagreed with Italy’s tough stance on immigration retaliated by pointing to Sunday’s disaster as evidence that the government’s approach was flawed.

‘Condemning only the traffickers, as the center-right is doing now, is hypocrisy,’ said Laura Ferrara, an MEP from the populist 5-Star Movement in the European Parliament.

“The truth is that the EU today does not offer effective alternatives for those who are forced to abandon their country of origin,” Ferrara said in a statement.

On Sunday, Elly Schlein, a dual U.S.-Italian citizen and veteran left-wing political operative who served on both of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, became the first female leader of Italy’s opposition Democratic Party.

She also took aim at Meloni, saying that those who “only weeks ago approved a decree whose only goal is to hinder rescues at sea” must be “weighing on the conscience” after the shipwreck deaths of dozens off southern Italy on Sunday.

She was referring to a legislation that was just passed last week in Italy’s parliament that mandates rescue ships go to a port ‘without delay’ after a sea rescue.

The legislation makes it harder for humanitarian boats to perform numerous rescues in the central Mediterranean by requiring them to disembark in ports located along Italy’s northern coasts.

To return to sea after successfully disembarking migrants, ships need more time.

Humanitarian groups have complained about the crackdown because it requires charity ships to return to their home ports directly following a rescue mission, rather than staying at sea in the hopes of completing additional rescues. Offenders risk having their rescue boats taken away from them and paying hefty penalties.

In response to the tragedy, Save the Children employee Filippo Ungaro told The Telegraph, “One again, the umpteenth time, we are mourning the unjust deaths of those searching for a better future, fleeing from war and poverty.”

The politician went on to say, “Politics, in Italy and Europe, thinks about how to resolve the matter with walls and restrictions for NGOs.”

In a statement, the Spanish migrant rescue charity Open Arms warned that preventing NGOs from doing their job would “only have one effect: the death of vulnerable people.”

More than 20,000 migrants have been “averted” thanks to agreements with Tunisia and Libya, Italian Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi said last week.

However, 105,000 migrants arrived in Italy in 2022, an increase of 38,000 from the year before, according to data from the Interior Ministry.

About half of all refugees coming through Turkey are escaping from Afghanistan, according to UN statistics.

Fewer rescue ships are active in the Mediterranean as a result of rising fines and operating expenses. The chances of a speedy recovery are now extremely low.

The president of the Calabria area, Roberto Occhiuto, blamed the European Union for the region’s problems. What, he questioned, had the European Union accomplished in all those years. When will we see the Europe that is supposed to ensure our security and compliance with the law?

To “finally concretely assume the responsibility of managing the migratory phenomenon to remove it from the traffickers of human beings,” as Italian President Sergio Mattarella put it, “is the responsibility of the European Union.”

Many of the migrants are heading north in search of family or employment opportunities, and Italy has complained angrily for years that other EU countries have been unwilling to accept some of them.

In the rough seas caused by the weather, the boat smashed into the reefs. Splintered pieces of bright blue wood littered the sand like matchsticks after three large sections of the ship washed up on the shore near the town of Steccato di Cutro.

Ignazio Mangione, a Red Cross volunteer, said, “All of the survivors are adults.” Children are all either gone or dead on the beach.

Two men who managed to stay alive were seen by rescuers carrying children above their heads in an effort to protect them from the oncoming waves. Unfortunately, official television reported that the children had all perished.

One survivor was an Afghan teenager whose 28-year-old sister made it to the shore but perished there. Doctors Without Borders said it was providing emotional support to the survivors.

“hasn’t found the courage to tell his parents,” the group claimed about the adolescent.

A 12-year-old Afghan boy who lost his entire family, including four brothers, was another lucky survivor.

Those who made it off the boat told Italian state TV that they left Turkey five days ago.

A journalist for the Italian RAI state News station noticed a life jacket labeled with the name of the Turkish port of Smyrna, also known as Izmir.

The coast guard recovered the corpse of a woman in her early 20s at Le Castella, where a fortress from the 15th century dominates the shoreline, according to an AFP reporter.

In a tweet, the Save the Children organization said it was helping 10 children who had been traveling with their families and were among the survivors from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Syria.

Many children have gone missing, it stated.

It was reported by the charity that the survivors said something like, “During the night, near the coast, they heard a loud boom, the boat broke, and they all fell into the water.”

Some of the survivors claim they saw loved ones drown or vanish after falling into the ocean.

They said the yacht left Izmir, Turkey, last week.

The bodies of the young twins were recovered from the sea, according to David Morabito, a rescue diver in Calabria, who spoke to the Rai state broadcaster.

The sight of small, lifeless infants “pierces your heart,” as Morabito put it.

What a terrible loss of young lives. A real catastrophe,’ he chimed in.

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