UNHCR Reports 55 people missing or drowned off northern Somali coast

UNHCR Press Release:

“Fifty-five people are drowned or missing after an overcrowded boat capsized off the Somali coast on Tuesday night (18 December). UNHCR is greatly saddened by this latest tragic incident – the biggest loss of life in the Gulf of Aden since February 2011 when 57 Somali refugees and migrants from the Horn of Africa drowned while attempting to reach Yemen.

According to five of the survivors – all young Somali men – the boat was overcrowded and ran into trouble almost immediately after leaving the port of Bosasso in northern Somalia on Tuesday. It capsized just 15 minutes into its journey, spilling all 60 passengers into sea. Those on board were Ethiopians and Somalis.
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21 dead migrants found on Lesvos Islands’ coast, two survivors – the rest is still missing!

On Saturday 15th December in the early morning hours the coast guard found 18 corpses of migrant men and one survivor in Thermi, Lesvos. Until now 21 corpses have been found, two persons have survived (one is in Mytilini and one in Turkey) and seven are still missing. The survivor found first on the Greek side informed the authorities that they had started with a ship of 30 migrants from Turkey which capsized on Friday. the authorities try to locate the rest of the migrants in the sea now – among them two women and two children.

Only one 16-year-old survivor has been plucked out of the water and was hospitalised in the island capital Mytilene and another 17-year-old on the Turkish side. The young boy found in the sea near Lesvos told investigators most of those on board the boat which also carried women and children were from Afghanistan with only two persons from Turkey. Greek public television Net said two women and two children had been among the passengers. The group set sail from the western coast of Turkey on Thursday but ran into bad weather that sank their boat during the night, about two miles off Lesvos.

UPDATE: Two of the corpses were recognised by relatives living in Greece and Sweden respectively. One of the is a 17-year-old whose cousin came to recognise him from Naxos where he is living and the other is a 42-year-old whose brother came from Sweden to check for his whereabouts. Through the recognition of the 17-year-old it became known that there has been found another survivor on the Turkish side. The young survivor found in Lesvos left hospital on Tuesday 18 and was transferred to the detention cells of the coast guard.

yahoo news (in greek)
left.gr (in greek)
tvxs (in greek)
lesvos news (in greek)
to vima (in greek)

LOST AT BORDER – A journey to the lost and the dead of the Greek borders

New report of Infomobile Greece, published in January 2012

LOST AT BORDER reports on the reality of loss and death at the Greek borders. As a close friend of ours said once: “If you are a refugee and you die nobody asks any questions. But for living somewhere, everybody is questioning you!” We want to break the silence and ask: What happened with all these people whose traces got lost?
Accidents and death at border belong unfortunately to the daily experiences of refugees trying to reach a safe haven. The European Border Control Agency FRONTEX in co-operation with national authorities are heightening and thickening the fences and walls around us, controlling and patrolling the borders and externalizing them to European neighbour states such as Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia a.o. They have created treaties of co-operation in deportations and huge refugee detention camps at the gates of Europe. Trying to cross a number of borders, among them the ones of Fortress Europe is a huge risk of death! The numbers are shocking: more than 2.000 people died in the Mediterranean Sea only in 2011. Each single person left behind a big gap in the life of relatives and friends.

LOST AT BORDER gives the voice mainly to refugees searching and mourning for their beloved. The report was made by a group of antiracist activists from different countries who have been already involved in the search of migrants who got lost at the border between Greece and Turkey. It can be quite difficult to find information on what has happened when somebody is missing at the border. Apart from the report we want to help and fill this information gap by a new Blog. We want to connect the relatives and friends of border victims to each other and we want to let you know and feel that you are not alone on this journey! We will never forget. We promise to overcome the murderous border regime and to continue our struggle for a welcoming Europe.
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Report and Blog have been published by Infomobile

ship at distress in the ionian sea: 23rd of September 2011

On Friday, September 23, a small boat that was trying to get to Italy carrying 65 Kurds and Afghans sans-papiers, broke 90 miles southwest of the island of Zakynthos. When port police reached the vessel only 32 immigrants were aboard. A helicopter participating in the rescue operation managed to save 30 immigrants that have fallen in the sea. Late in the afternoon, the same helicopter discovered the bodies of 3 sans-papiers who drowned at sea.

3rd of September: refugee dinghy at distress in the Ioanian sea near Kefalonia

At least four immigrants drowned in the Ionian Sea today, when an inflatable boat sailing about 80 nautical miles west of Kefalonia island, sank on early Saturday morning.

Eleven immigrants survived. One of them, whose condition was critical, was picked up by a navy helicopter and the remaining ten were picked up by turkish ship «MEHMET DADAYLI 1». The same ship discovered the 4 corpses.


see also in Greek:
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The story of John missing Jen

John is missing Jen.
Jen got lost when she tried to cross the border to Greece. Maybe she drowned in Evros, the river between Turkey and Greece. We will mourn Jen and all the refugees that died during the attempt to overcome Fortress Europe on the 30th of August 2011 in Evros. We want to give back a piece of dignity, to those whose death disappeared — right here — into the senselessness of the European borders. And we will gather for giving back a piece of dignity to those who survived. We will create a memorial space.

A better healing will only come by actually knowing what happened

Interview with John, Athens, 11.05.11.

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About this blog

This is a new blog created in solidarity with migrants and refugees getting lost at the borders of Europe. In solidarity with their relatives and friends.
It is planned to become a small structure of support, providing answers to procedural questions, i.e. of searching for somebody who tried to cross a border but never appeared again and contacts to the institutions, NGOs and individuals that can help.
The reason for building this blog are the destinies of people who lost their relatives at the land border between Greece and Turkey – in the region of Evros.
This blog is also a space of communication about stories of loss and of exchange of experiences.

Lost at Borders is a Blog made by a network of solidarity people to help in finding people who got lost at the Greek borders. We are a group of antiracist activists from different countries who have been already involved in the search of immigrants who got lost at the border between Greece and Turkey. Unfortunately every year hundreds of people disappear while trying to cross the European borders leaving their families and friends behind with anxiety and fear about their whereabouts. Since moving populations such as migrants and refugees often have their relatives in other countries waiting for them, it can be quite difficult to find some information on what has happened when somebody is missing at the border. We want to help and fill this information gap. We want to connect the relatives and friends of border victims to each other and we want to let you know and feel that you are not alone on this journey! The borders that separate our world into pieces called nations are a construction of walls which have open doors for some while for others they are closed. We do not see them as a protection shield but as a killing machine that has no reason of existence. Our struggle is for a world without borders an for free movement of all people. NO BORDERS!