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A list of heartbreak: Newspaper tallies 33,293 dead migrants

UPDATED: Sun., Nov. 12, 2017, 8:38 p.m.

In this photo provided by Sea-Watch, migrants from a sinking inflatable dinghy try to board a Libyan coast guard ship during a rescue operation at sea in international waters off the coast of Libya on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017. (Lisa Hoffmann / Associated Press)
In this photo provided by Sea-Watch, migrants from a sinking inflatable dinghy try to board a Libyan coast guard ship during a rescue operation at sea in international waters off the coast of Libya on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017. (Lisa Hoffmann / Associated Press)

BERLIN – A German newspaper has published a list of 33,293 people it says died while trying to immigrate to Europe between 1993 and May of this year.

The list, published by daily Der Tagesspiegel on Thursday, covered 46 pages and included names, ages and countries of origin, when available, as well as how the victims died and their date of death. Often, though, they never were identified.

One entry said Iraqi migrant Talat Abdulhamid, 36, froze to death on Jan. 6 after walking for 48 hours through the mountains on the Turkish-Bulgarian border.

Another, citing the United Nations refugee agency, was for a 15-year-old boy who drowned on Nov. 15, 2016, when a rubber dinghy he was on with 23 others sank while trying to get from Libya to Europe.

The newspaper said it wanted to document, “the asylum-seekers, refugees and migrants who died since 1993 as a consequence of the restrictive policies of Europe on the continent’s outer borders or inside Europe.”

Some of the immigrants who succeeded in reaching Europe later died in violent attacks or killed themselves in custody while waiting to be deported back to their home countries.

A 17-year-old Somali boy died when neo-Nazis in the eastern German town of Schmoellnhe forced him to jump off a tower on Oct. 21, 2016. A 30-year-old man from Uganda committed suicide in an immigrant detention center on the coast of southern England.

“We want to honor them” Der Tagesspiegel wrote. “And at the same time we want to show that every line tells a story … and that the list keeps getting longer, day by day.”

The vast majority of the people on the newspaper’s list drowned on the Mediterranean Sea.

The most recent listings were for two unidentified people, one of them a child, and dated May 29. The entry says: “Two bodies found, 28 missing, drowned or stamped down in a panic when their boat sank off Libya.”


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