Rising death toll of Syrian Refugees in the Mediterranean sea

Thousands of Syrian children risk drowning in Mediterranean this summer to reach safety of Europe

In the first seven months of 2014, more than 16,000 Syrians washed up in Italy, half of them men and nearly 5,000 of them children.
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There were 27 people from my town who I knew on the boat that sank off the Libyan coast on 11th October 2013. One of them was my neighbour. They are all dead. Despite this, I wasn’t afraid to get on a boat and face the same fate. Death by death, we’ve tried new routes, because nobody wants Syrians anymore. Neither in Lebanon, nor Egypt nor Libya.” Abu Rabia, young refugee who survived the crossing.
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Mohammed, a 22-year old from Damascus, Syria, told Amnesty International: “When we left Libya, we were 400 people with maybe 100 more children. We had to go on rowing boats to reach the bigger boat. At first I could not see the big boat, but when I saw it, it was bad. I did not want to board it, but the smuggler threatened me with a firearm. It took two hours to board everybody. At about 2am I heard gunfire. [A boat with armed men] placed themselves in front of our boat. They kept trying to stop the boat for about four hours. They shot from many sides. When it dawned, they left. The damaged boat was swaying. We threw all our bags in the sea, including the life jackets – we wanted to live!”
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The UN High Commissioner for Refugees says more than 2,500 people have drowned or been reported lost at sea this year trying to cross the Mediterranean.

In one of the deadliest wrecks on record, a ship carrying some 500 migrants — including Syrians, Palestinians and Egyptians — was deliberately sunk by traffickers off Malta earlier this month, leaving just 10 known survivors.
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“No child forced to flee violence and persecution should then have to risk his or her life on this perilous sea crossing,” says Justin Forsyth, CEO of Save the Children.

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Read more articles:
Thousands of Syrian children risk drowning in Mediterranean this summer to reach safety of Europe
http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/2014-06/thousands-syrian-children-risk-drowning-mediterranean#sthash.nsa07Yap.dpuf

Preparing for ‘a death trip’: the story of one Syrian refugee
http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/preparing-die-story-one-syrian-refugee-4972912#sthash.dQt5Lymb.dpuf

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