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Asia and the Pacific
Western Asia

Italy - February 2023

Fatal migrant shipwreck sparks debate and leads to investigations

On the night of 26 February, a wooden ship carrying over 170 migrants from Turkey broke apart near the east Italian coast. Migrants were reportedly from Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, and Pakistan. At least 59 people, including children, were found dead the same day, but the numbers rose to 70 in the following days. Only 80 survivors have been found. In the aftermath of the event, the prosecutor of Crotone has opened two investigations: one concerning the suspected smugglers arrested by the Italian police; and another assessing whether there were delays by Italian authorities in responding to the migrant boat. Particular attention has been focused on why the coast guard was never sent to check on the boat. This migration tragedy sparked debate on migration policies and the need for the EU to revise its migration plan.

Sources: British Broadcasting Corporation, Dutsche Welle, Euronews, The Local, Associated Press

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