Deadly Adriatic border: Six migrants die in two days. Removals continue

In its 2009-2010 report “European borders: controls, detention and deportations” [1], Migreurop has dedicated one chapter to the Adriatic border, especially to the, sometimes illegal, “readmission processes” of migrants between Greece and Italy.

On this internal border of the European Union, as well as in the ports which constitute its most crucial junctions, cases of violence, of arbitrary deportation, of rights’ violations, of abuse and “accidents” are on the increase, tragically rising the number of victims as time passes by.
Kinisi, an organisation based in Patras, announced, in a communiqué dated 2 December 2010, the death of Sardar Ayari, a 25 year old-Afghan and a father of 3.

This happened on the edge of Patras, on the national road E55 which connects the city to Athens. Every day, at the outskirts of Patras, migrants try to get in trucks off to Italy. According to many witness reports, one truck stopped at a red traffic light on 27 November 2010 at 4.00 pm. A group of migrants took this opportunity to hide in the trailer. Apparently, despite many people standing on the road, a second truck, registered in Italy, instead of slowing down, has voluntarily charged at the migrants. Sardar Ayari has been crushed between the two vehicles. He died a few hours later at the hospital; according to the doctors “it’s as if a bomb exploded in his stomach”.

After listening to the various reports by witnesses of the accident, the police let the truck driver, though responsible of what happened, go.
Kinisi, a Greek organisation which defends the rights of migrants and asylum seekers, denounces the way the investigation has been conducted on the circumstances of the accident, as well as the way the local press covered the event as a “unfortunate/sad road accident which happened to a young Afghan”.

On December 2nd, 2010, a press release from Osservatorio Faro sul porto e dell’ambasciata dei Diritti d’Ancône [2] reported the death by suffociation of a 16 year-old Afghan, on the ferry Cruise Europe - a vessel which belongs to the shipping company Minoan Lines - on the Patras-Ancône line. The young man was hidden with one of his national fellows aged 15 in a truck driven by a Bulgarian who has been arrested for facilitating irregular migration. On their way, on grounds which remain to be determined through an autopsy, the ship crew was alerted by the victim’s mate of the latter feeling bad. The death is under investigation by the border police, but the death of the young Afghan was considered as “natural”.

In both cases in Patras and Ancône, it is a scandal that the authorities conclude that the deaths result from a trivial incident and natural causes. Indeed, no matter how people travel, there’s nothing natural in someone dying being crushed between two trucks or by suffocation in a trailer on a ferry boat, simply because these people wanted to cross the border.

On 23 November, 4 Iranian migrants in exile were found dead as well, from asphyxiation, in a truck were they hid, hoping to reach Italy.
In order for these victims not to be forgotten, and to keep on shedding light on what happens along this internal EU border, the Tuttidirittiumanipertutti network will rally, on 11 December, 2010, on the day of rights.

Following the moblisations of undocumented migrants in Bescia, Milano, to oppose the illusionary regularisation process proposed by the government, and to commemorate the death of Zaher Rezai, an Afghan dead at the age of 13 in Venice in December 2008 after he arrived in Italy hidden under a truck (,Venice, the city of rights and Tuttidirittiumanipertutti network organize on 11 December a two folds event:

At 10.30 am, the migrant community’s march against the « sanatoria truffa » will arrive at the police regional station and will then head off to Venice’s port.

At 1.00 pm, a ceremony to honour Zaher’s memory will be celebrated in the port, to mark the opposition against all deportations and defend the right to asylum.

Both Brescia and Venice demonstrations are part of the route leading to Rome on 14 December 2010, “UNITED AGAINST THE CRISIS”, to underline the mistrust against the Italian government.

Contact presse :

Mail : et

Téléphone :

0033 1 53 27 87 81

0039 339 20 28 208