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Shipwreck Off Italian Coast Kills at Least 62 Refugees as Italy Cracks Down on Rescue Missions

HeadlineFeb 27, 2023

At least 62 people died over the weekend after a boat carrying refugees fell apart at sea off of Italy’s Calabrian coast. At least one baby and 12 children were among the deceased. Around 80 survivors, from Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, were pulled to safety after they were found in the water clinging on to pieces of the ship, which had departed the Turkish city of Izmir a few days earlier.

The latest migrant tragedy in the Mediterranean came just days after the Italian government of far-right leader Giorgia Meloni approved a new law making it harder for humanitarian aid rescue vessels to carry out their missions. Doctors Without Borders said their rescue ship was detained by Italian authorities as part of the new measures, blocking it from going to sea to save lives for at least 20 days.

In the town of Crotone, where the bodies of the victims are being kept, community members gathered to pay their respects. This is Bishop Francesco Savino.

Bishop Francesco Savino: “It is the hour of silence, of prayer, of recollection, of deep meditation. But it is the hour in which we must also question ourselves responsibly about this new tragedy, with respect to which we risk all becoming accomplices.”

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