Kurdish immigrant death toll in Aegean Sea
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (K24) – Nearly 134 citizens of the Kurdistan Region died in the Aegean Sea since January alone, trying to immigrate to Europe, said the chairman of the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees (IFIR).
In a Saturday press conference in Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region, Amanj Abdulla revealed that up to 388 citizens have died in the Aegean Sea since 2015.
Abdullah explained that authorities in Europe had recovered 84 corpses of the reported 134 dead since January 2016 with 50 still missing.
The IFIR Chairman added that since 2015 nearly 200,000 Iraqis have immigrated abroad, 20,485 to Finland, more than 20,000 to Sweden, up to 13,629 to Germany, and about 3,500 to Switzerland.
On Sunday morning, 24 bodies arrived at Erbil International Airport after coordination between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and European authorities. The flight delivering the bodies traveled from Greece to Amman and then to the Kurdistan Region.
According to Abdulla, the airport is to receive 26 more bodies in the coming days.
The families of the dead immigrants arrived at Erbil airport to receive the bodies of their relatives. Zirak Kamal, a Kurdish politician, on behalf of the Head of the KRG Ministerial Council, received the immigrants’ corpses in a mournful ceremony.
Reporting by Ehsan Mamakani
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany and Ava Homa