Afghan boy dies in migrant boat to Greece

Photo credit: Murad Sezer/Reuters. Migrants making the dangerous journey to Greece’s islands.

TMP – 13/12/2017

As reported on 25 Nov, a 10-year-old Afghan boy was crushed to death on board an overcrowded boat carrying 66 migrants from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos, according to Greece’s news agency ANA.

Panic erupted when the migrants saw a patrol boat belonging to the European border agency Frontex and feared they would be taken back to Turkey, ANA said.

The young boy was recovered unconscious from the dinghy and transferred to Vostanio hospital in Mytilene, the capital of Lesbos, where he was pronounced dead. The boy had been on the boat with his parents and two younger sisters. When the boy’s mother discovered her son had died in the chaos, she tried to end her life by jumping into the sea and was rescued by the coastguard.

The death of the young boy comes a day after the United Nations’ migration agency said more than 33,000 people have died at sea trying to reach Europe since 2000, making the Mediterranean “by far the world’s deadliest border”.

Professor Philippe Fargues, of the European University Institute in Florence, author of the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) report is not convinced these figures portray the actual scale of human tragedy.