The Islands of the Dead

The season of bad weather has arrived in the Aegean, with heavy winds and rough seas. But that hasn’t deterred the “refugees” waiting in Anatolia from paying the people-traffickers and climbing into their boats. And ever greater numbers of them are now dying on the way to Kos or Lesbos.

As reported in the news feed a couple of days ago, the cemetery on the island of Lesbos is filled up, and the municipality has no more room to bury the dead migrants. It has resorted to the expedient of storing the corpses in refrigerated containers.

Many thanks to Nash Montana for translating this brief article from Tageszeitung Österreich online:

Refugee Corpses in Refrigerated Containers

The morgues are hopelessly overstuffed, so refugee corpses are now being held in refrigerated containers.

After dozens of dead refugees and overcrowded morgues on the Greek island Lesbos, the bodies of the drowned now have to be held in freezing containers. “Neither in the morgue nor in the cemetery is there any room left.” said the Bishop last Tuesday on Greek TV.

Cemetery has to be made larger

Officials say the cemetery on the island has to be enlarged. Only then can the victims of the voyage from Turkey to Lesbos be buried. In the last four days alone, 43 people lost their lives crossing the Aegean Sea.

The United Nations and human rights groups say it is the responsibility of the European Union to do more to keep migrants from dying at sea. Given the measures taken up until now — with naval and coast guard vessels from numerous countries patrolling the area to pluck “refugees” from the water — it’s hard to see what more could be done.

To reduce the mortality rate, I expect Frontex to open a free ferry service from Anatolia directly to Athens.

And that’s not really a joke, although I wish it were.

5 thoughts on “The Islands of the Dead

  1. Nobody would wish anyone to drown like this but surely with the technology available today (drones, sonar,hydrophones etc) and it has been said that most modern navies can hear a shrimp break wind these smugglers vessels should be intercepted EARLY and escorted back from whence they came. Also some personal responsibility should come into this. Desperation, the usual excuse, but surely you have to think twice before you choose to pay over the odds to place your family in an overloaded unseaworthy vessel to tackle a winter crossing.

  2. Turkey IMHO is the ‘bad guy’ here they could slow down or put a stop to the horde, however they are using this manufactured ‘crisis’ to obtain leverage in negotiating with the EU and the rest of the international community.They could come down hard on the human traffickers, they can be brutal when it serves their purpose. The centuries old ‘Ottoman ugliness’ and brutality is evident here.

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