Pas-de-Calais: 200 people gathered in tribute to the five migrants who died off the coast of Wimereux

Pas-de-Calais: 200 people gathered in tribute to the five migrants who died off the coast of Wimereux
Pas-de-Calais: 200 people gathered in tribute to the five migrants who died off the coast of Wimereux

The gathering was held not far from the Wimereux dike where residents and associations held red and white roses and small hearts cut out of cardboard by hand, in a freezing wind.

Residents and associations surrounded Ahmed, 41, father of the deceased 7-year-old girl, Sara. On a flowerbed, photos of the smiling little girl and a little stuffed elephant were placed.

“Thank you all for being here. I would like to tell you that it was not my first choice to cross to England. But my situation became very difficult because my case was rejected 14 years ago by the authorities from Belgium and today, I am a dad who lost his daughter,” said the girl’s father.

“What happened is not only a tragedy but is also a devastating family drama,” said Olivier Ternisien, co-president of Osmose 62.

He denounced the government’s “hardening of borders, increasing militarization of the coasts and repressive policies” which “only accentuate the suffering and risks incurred by exiles.”

In addition to the little girl, three men and a woman are among the victims of this new tragedy which brings to at least 15 the number of migrants who will die in 2024 in crossing attempts. Some 112 people, including Syrians and Iraqis, were on board the boat.

More than 700 migrants arrived in the United Kingdom on Wednesday on small boats after crossing the Channel, a record for 2024 as the British government made it a priority to end these crossings.

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