Put names and faces on the victims of the shipwrecks in the English Channel. This is the difficult task which has been tackled since 2017 by the “death group” made up of members of associations, activists and local goodwill in Calais, and which remains to be carried out after the death of 27 migrants on Wednesday in the crossing. between France and England.
24-year-old Iraqi Kurd
The first victim of this tragedy was identified on Friday by BBC. This is a 24-year-old Iraqi Kurdish woman, Maryam Nuri Mohamed Amin, nicknamed “Baran”. She was trying to travel to the UK to join her fiancé.
The latter, who lives across the Channel, explained to the BBC that Maryam’s crossing was a surprise, but that his fiancée sent him messages on the social network Snapchat while she was on the inflatable, telling him that the boat was starting to deflate. She then tried to be reassuring. But the young woman never arrived.
The British media are gradually retracing the journey of Maryam Nuri Mohamed, originally from northern Iraq. Selon Sky News, she went through Germany before arriving in France to try to reach England.
According to the victim’s family, she had attempted to enter the UK legally on two occasions. She had visited the British Embassy but the process was “delayed”, forcing her to take this tragic path. “It’s a total tragedy and the whole family is in shock,” her cousin Krmanj Ezzat Dargali, from Iraq, told Sky News. Maryam’s best friend, Imann Hassan, described to the BBC a young woman “very humble” and who had “a very big heart”.
A temporary vault for anonymous victims
It remains to identify the 26 other victims of the terrible shipwreck, including at least one pregnant woman. For the moment, access to the bodies is refused to associations, for lack of agreement from the judicial chain. Samad Akrach, head of the Tahara association which buries destitute and migrants all year round for free, explains that anyone whose identity is unknown is placed in a temporary vault.
Then, if for five years no member of the family claims the body, the bones are placed in an ossuary or cremated.