Sunday, 10 June 2007

Even in death, migrants were let down by Europe

By Peter Popham in Rome
Published: 04 June 2007
The bodies of 21 would-be migrants picked up from the Mediterranean by a French frigate 120 miles south of Malta were left to rot on board the ship while Maltese, French and Libyan authorities argued for hours over where the bodies would be taken for burial.

The corpses, initially suspected to have come from a boat crammed with Eritreans that was photographed by a Maltese surveillance plane 10 days ago before disappearing without trace, were already in an advanced state of decomposition when La Motte Picquet plucked them from the sea in the Gulf of Sirte. "They had clearly been in the sea for several days," said Emmanuel Dinh, a spokesman for the French Maritime Authority.
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