Four Iranians will be tried on Friday January 20 in Dunkirk for their role in a shipwreck in the English Channel in October 2020, which claimed the lives of seven migrants, including a family of five, we learned from the prosecution, confirming information from the
Voice of the North
These four men, two of whom were extradited by Denmark as part of this procedure, will appear for manslaughter, aiding illegal stay in an organized gang and endangering the lives of others.
Boat loaded with 22 migrants
On October 27, 2020, a fishing boat, designed to carry “
a maximum of four or five people
”, but loaded with 22 migrants trying to reach England, had capsized, summarized with AFP the deputy prosecutor of Dunkirk , Amelie Le Sant.
An Iranian Kurdish family had found themselves trapped in the cabin of the boat.
The parents and their three children - including a 15-month-old baby whose body was discovered weeks later on a Norwegian coast - had drowned.
Two men had also disappeared at sea, recalls the magistrate.
Read alsoMigrants in the Channel: the summer of all records
Among the four defendants is a man who “
would have paid for his passage by agreeing to pilot the boat
Two others, one arrested in Denmark and the other in France, are suspected of having organized this crossing and others before and after this tragedy, between September 2020 and their arrest.
Their telephone line terminal on the beaches of the coast, especially when the weather conditions are favorable and at night
", explains Amélie Le Sant.
The fourth man, also arrested in Denmark, is suspected of having escorted the boat to the departure beach on the day of the sinking.
The defendants, all in pre-trial detention, risk ten years in prison.
The magistrate underlines that that night "
the smugglers wanted to embark even more people: an additional family was on the beach but refused to embark
Intensification of migratory flows to England
No survivor of the shipwreck has filed a civil action, according to Amélie Le Sant.
A little over a year after this tragedy, on the night of November 23 to 24, 2021, at least 27 migrants perished in the sinking of their inflatable boat.
On December 14, 2022, four others, including a teenager, drowned in the English Channel.
Despite these tragedies, crossings to England on frail overloaded boats continue at an increasingly sustained pace.
In 2022, more than 45,000 people thus reached the English shores, a new record.