Tuesday 6 December 2016

Italy arrests people traffickers after girl (10) dies on boat crossing from Egypt

Published 18/07/2015 | 19:31

Migrants disembark from the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) ship MV Phoenix in the Sicilian harbour of Messina, Italy July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello
Migrants disembark from the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) ship MV Phoenix in the Sicilian harbour of Messina, Italy July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello
Migrants wait to disembark from the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) ship MV Phoenix in the Sicilian harbour of Messina, Italy July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello

Italy arrested three Egyptian men who are suspected to have piloted a boat carrying more than 300 migrants to Italy from Egypt, including a 10-year-old Syrian girl whose father said she died during the sea crossing, according to Italian media.

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A Syrian man who was brought to Sicily on Wednesday after being rescued told an Italian prosecutor in that his daughter had fallen into a diabetic coma during the voyage and died.

A volunteer holds a child who has just disembarked from the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) vessel Phoenix, at the harbor of Messina, Sicily, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Carmelo Imbesi)
A volunteer holds a child who has just disembarked from the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) vessel Phoenix, at the harbor of Messina, Sicily, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Carmelo Imbesi)
Rescued migrants line up after disembarking from the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) vessel "Phoenix" in the harbor of Messina, Sicily, Wednesday, July 15, 2015 (AP Photo/Carmelo Imbesi)
Migrants wait to disembark from the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) ship MV Phoenix in the Sicilian harbour of Messina, Italy July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello

Italian media said Egyptian people smugglers, to whom he had paid several thousand dollars for the trip, took a small backpack containing his daughter's insulin and threw it into the sea just as the boat was pulling out of port.

Without the medicine the girl did not survive the long trip and, at the urging of the other passengers on the crowded boat, her father buried her at sea, Italian media reported citing the prosecutor in Syracuse who took his testimony.

A Red Cross worker holds a baby after he was disembarked from the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) ship MV Phoenix in the Sicilian harbour of Messina, Italy July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello
A Red Cross worker holds a baby after he was disembarked from the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) ship MV Phoenix in the Sicilian harbour of Messina, Italy July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello
Migrants wait to disembark from the Italian Navy ship Chimera at the Augusta harbor, near Siracusa, Sicily, Italy, Thursday, July 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Carmelo Imbesi)
A migrant waits to disembark from the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) ship MV Phoenix in the Sicilian harbour of Messina, Italy July 15, 2015. REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello

Police said they arrested the three men for people trafficking, not homicide, since the girl's father had said the men arrested were not the men who threw away the girl's medicine, Italian media reported on Saturday.

Italy is one of the main entry points, along with Greece, for migrants and refugees seeking to enter Europe from North Africa and the government estimates as many as 200,000 may come this year.

Tensions have risen in recent days with Italians increasingly protesting the opening of new shelters near their homes. Italy is housing more than 84,000 migrants in shelters across the country, the Interior Ministry says.

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Reuters

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