Norwegian police reported that they found the body of a 15-month-old child on the south-west coast of the country who was discovered to be the one who disappeared after a shipwreck that occurred on October 27 in the Channel Strait. The victim’s name was Artin, who drowned together with the Kurdish-Iranian family with whom he had left France with the aim of crossing the Channel and reaching the United Kingdom. The Norwegian authorities specify that the body was found on New Year’s Eve near Karmoy, but only now it has been possible to identify the victim via DNA and now his remains will be sent to Iran for burial. “Qualified professionals from the forensic science department of the ‘University hospital in Oslo managed to recover the corresponding DNA profiles “, reads a note from the police.
A whole family died
The other family members who died in the shipwreck of that terrible day were the baby’s father, Rasoul Iran Nejad 35-year-old mother Shiva Mohammad Panahi 35-year-old sister Anita aged nine and brother Armin aged six. The family was from the city of Sardasht in western Iran, near the border with Iraq. Fifteen other migrants were taken to hospital that day and an investigation was opened in Dunkirk by the French prosecutor on the shipwreck. The family is believed to have paid a human smuggler at least € 5,000 for the attempted crossing, made in an overloaded small boat with 23 other people, after trying unsuccessfully to enter the UK by train twice.
The long journey
As reported by the Guardian, Rasoul Iran Nejad’s brother, Khalil, said he heard his relatives for the last time just before they attempted the crossing. He said they had moved from Iran to Turkey during the summer of 2020, before proceeding across Europe to France. Khalil Iran Nezhad said his brother wanted to take his family to the UK so he could find a better life for them. He had worked as an underpaid farmhand while his wife was unemployed and had heard that he could earn at least £ 100 a day and find a place to live in Britain.
The latest posts
Shortly after the sinking, the BBC was able to view a series of text messages believed to have been sent by Ms. Mohammad Panahi, including one acknowledging the danger of crossing the Channel by boat but concluding “we have no choice”. “If we want to go with a truck, we may need more money than we don’t have,” reads a second message. Another said: “I have a thousand pains in my heart and now that I have left Iran I would like to forget my past”.
Crossing the Channel is not a rare phenomenon, even if the numbers are certainly not comparable to those of the Mediterranean. The number of people crossing the 21-mile stretch of water has almost doubled this year from the same time last year, with over 3,100 people reaching the English coast by the end of May. Nearly 600 migrants were intercepted as they attempted to make the crossing in just three days last week. On Friday, the French authorities intercepted eight boats carrying 130 people and the United Kingdom four boats carrying 83 people.