Drowned Migrant Boys Buried
As Hungary Warns Of ‘Mass Inflow’ Of Refugees
A SYRIAN father yesterday buried his wife and two little boys, drowned as they tried to flee to Europe, while Hungary’s right-wing leader told Europeans they risk becoming a minority on their own continent.
With desperation and anger deepening among migrants escaping conflict and poverty, hundreds broke out of a Hungarian camp and others set off on foot from Budapest, hoping to find sanctuary in northern Europe.
In the latest report of deaths at sea, about 30-40 people drowned in the Mediterranean off the coast of Libya after a dinghy carrying 120-140 Somalis, Sudanese and Nigerians deflated, causing panic on board, the International Organisation for Migration reported.
Reuters reported that in the Syrian town of Kobani, 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi was laid to rest alongside his mother and 5-year-old brother at the “Martyr’s Cemetery” in the predominantly Kurdish community near the Turkish border. Images of the tiny body of Aylan washed up on a beach near the Turkish resort of Bodrum gave a human face to the high death toll and prompted a global outpouring of sympathy this week.
He drowned with his brother Galip, his mother and at least nine others while trying to cross in two small boats to the Greek island of Kos just a few kilometers away. While pressure is rising on European governments to tackle the crisis more effectively, the boys’ weeping father, Abdullah Kurdi, called on countries closer to home to act.
I want Arab governments – not European countries – to see (what happened to) my children, and because of them to help people,” he said in footage posted online by a local radio station. Hungary says it is enforcing EU rules that it must register all migrants caught crossing its borders, but thousands are refusing and demand they be allowed to continue their journey to western Europe.
Germany has said it will let Syrians register for asylum regardless of where they entered the EU, causing confusion among neighboring countries who have alternated between letting them through and stopping them. .
Only a few days after Aylan Kurdi and his family set off on their fatal voyage, more Syrian refugees were planning the same crossing to the Greek island of Kos.
We saw the picture of the baby, (but) we have no other chance,” said 36-year old Abdulmenem Alsatouf, a father of three who once ran a supermarket in the Syrian city of Idlib. Hungary’s parliament passed a series of laws yesterday to control the flow of migrants into the country, giving police more authority and setting out strict punishments including prison terms for illegal border crossing.
The arrival of so many migrants has polarized Europe, causing outpourings of sympathy but also fuelling the rise of populist political parties who say the continent has no room for more people and could see its cultures diluted. “The reality is that Europe is threatened by a mass inflow of people.
Many tens of millions of people could come to Europe,” Orban said before Hungary’s new laws were passed. “Now we talk about hundreds of thousands but next year we will talk about millions and there is no end to this.” “All of a sudden we will see that we are in a minority in our own continent,” Orban told public radio.
With the pressure growing, British Prime Minister David Cameron said his country would take “thousands more” refugees from Syria. Until now, Britain has taken in only comparatively small numbers of Syrian refugees, drawing criticism at home and aboard.