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20 Nov 2017

German Newspaper Publishes Names of 33,000 Refugees Who Died Trying to Reach Europe

Names of about 33,000 refugees including Nigerians who drowned while crossing the Mediterranean Sea in a bid to reach Europe have been published by a German newspaper.

A German newspaper has published the names of 33,293 refugees and migrants who died trying to reach Europe.

Der Tagesspiegel listed victims' names, ages and countries of origin, as well as causes and dates of death, over 46 pages.

One entry is a 15-year-old boy who drowned on 15 November 2016 when a rubber dinghy he was on with 23 others sank while trying to travel from Libya to Europe.

Another tells of Iraqi migrant Talat Abdulhamid, 36, who froze to death on 6 January after walking for 48 hours through the mountains on the Turkish-Bulgarian border.

The newspaper said it wanted to document "the asylum-seekers, refugees and migrants who died since 1993 as a consequence of the restrictive policies of Europe on the continent's outer borders or inside Europe".

The majority of the people on the newspaper's list drowned in the Mediterranean Sea.

Last year was the deadliest for migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean, with at least 5,079 dying or going missing during their journey, according to the UN International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

According to the body, a crackdown on the Western Balkan path and the EU-Turkey deal has forced refugees and migrants to choose more dangerous routes to Europe.

“While overall numbers of migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean by the eastern route were reduced significantly in 2016 by the EU-Turkey deal, death rates have increased to 2.1 per 100 in 2017, relative to 1.2 in 2016,” the IOM said in a September report.

“Part of this rise is due to the greater proportion of migrants now taking the most dangerous route – that across the central Mediterranean – such that 1 in 49 migrants now died on this route in 2016.”

The most recent entries on the list in Der Tagesspiegel were dated 29 May 2017 for two unidentified people, one of them a child.

The entry says: “Two bodies found, 28 missing, drowned or stamped down in a panic when their boat sank off Libya.”

-Culled from Independent UK

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