The family who drowned after the sinking of a refugee boat in the English Channel have been pictured – as a search for their missing 15-month-old baby continues.The bodies of Kurdish-Iranian Rasoul Iran-Nejad, 35, Shiva Mohammad Panahi, 35, Anita, nine, and Armin, six, have been found and identified, the BBC reports.Their 15-month-old son, Artin, is believed to be still missing. The family is believed to be from the city of Sardasht in western Iran, close to the border with Iraq.Rasoul’s brother told the channel he had sold all of his belongings and paid more than £20,000 to smugglers in a bid to secure a better future for his family.Pictures of the family have been shared publicly by a human rights organisation. تصاویری از اعضای خانوادە سردشتی کە در آبهای فرانسە غرق شدەاند— Hengaw Human Rights Organization (@HengawO) October 28, 2020The tragedy is believed to be the single biggest loss of life during the current migrant crisis.More than a dozen people from the boat have been taken to hospitals in Calais and Dunkirk, according to the Maritime Prefecture of the Channel and the North Sea.Charities say there is “no excuse for failing to act now” and called on the UK Government to create a legal route for refugees. Refugees charity Care4Calais said it was “utterly devastated”.Bertrand Ringot, the mayor of Gravelines, south-west of Dunkirk, described the deaths as “tragic”.He added that as the end of the Brexit transition period approaches, he will call for more security resources in the area around the port.Bella Sankey, director of Detention Action, said: “News that a child has died at sea while trying to reach safety in the UK is the horror that we dreaded would come.“Where is the decency and common humanity of the UK government?“How can they allow our children to perish in this way? It would be easy to create a legal route for refugees who reach northern France to seek asylum in the UK; there is no excuse for failing to act now.”Home secretary Priti Patel was strongly criticised earlier this year for suggesting sending in the Navy to stop refugees crossing the Channel, despite the fact the UK’s resettlement scheme has been closed since March – meaning there is no safe, legal route for refugees to reach the UK by other means.Mariam Kemple Hardy, head of campaigns at Refugee Action, said the incident was “absolutely heartbreaking”.She added: “Our thoughts are with the people caught up in this horrible tragedy, their families, and the rescuers.“No one wants to see people make dangerous crossings but the government’s hostile rhetoric does nothing to help.“It must stop trying to look tough and urgently create more safe and legal routes for people to seek sanctuary in the UK.”Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds tweeted: “This is an absolute tragedy. Our thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones and people who have been injured.“It is a heartbreaking reminder of the human cost of this crisis.”Yvette Cooper MP, chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said: “This is truly awful news – and it is even more distressing that children should be involved in this tragedy.“The thought of children ending up in the cold waves is terrible.“These boats are incredibly dangerous. The criminal gangs who organise journeys in these precarious dinghies are profiting from putting lives at risk and from other people’s desperation.“The Home Affairs Committee is currently conducting an inquiry into Channel crossings and into the work that is urgently needed to prevent more lives being lost.”Related... Two Young Children And Two Adults Die After Refugee Boat Sinks Off French Coast Opinion: Priti Patel Has Blood On Her Hands. Her Condolences Mean Nothing Exclusive: Child Refugee Resettlement Plummeted After Boris Johnson Became PM
Coronavirus has changed everything. Make sense of it all with the Waugh Zone, our evening politics briefing. Sign up now.Vulnerable asylum seeking children arriving on small boats are being held in a Border Force processing centre after Kent’s council reached capacity, prompting fears of a “disaster”.Large numbers of children reaching the UK have led to an “unthinkable” situation where Kent County Council says it “cannot safely accommodate any more new arrivals”.Those now arriving are being held by Border Force at a processing centre, where asylum seekers are usually interviewed by officers, until homes can be found for them in other areas.Charities said they were “extremely concerned” and fear the children are being held in “prison-like facilities”. They also say they do not know whether the children are being safeguarded or whether they have access to education, social workers or legal services.A Home Office source would only say the children would be held at the so-called Kent Intake Unit (KIU) for “as short a time as possible” and did not say whether they were getting any access to services.Bridget Chapman, of the Kent Refugee Action Network, said home secretary Priti Patel had “failed to manage the situation”, instead making “completely inappropriate” comments about sending the Navy to intercept small boats on which the children perilously cross the Channel, and arguing with an ice cream company over the issue.Chapman also said she had “all sorts of concerns” about Border Force being responsible for the children, who as asylum seekers claim they are fleeing war or persecution.She told HuffPost UK: “These are children, they need to be looked after by a local authority that has the skillset to look after them.“That’s no disrespect to the border authority but the border authority does not have the skillset to look after children.“I have all sorts of questions – will they be allocated social workers? Will they have access to legal services? Will they be able to access education? What sort of accommodation will they be in? Will it be appropriate? How will they be safeguarded?“And of course it’s illegal to detain children for more than 24 hours so how is this going to work?“It seems to me it’s got disaster written all over it.”She went on: “In our experience children arrive almost every day so if today is typical there will be some children spending the night in the care of Border Force tonight and I am extremely concerned about that.“We have had a situation before where there was a lack of accommodation and adult people were kept in a really inappropriate building which was a concrete floor.“I’m not suggesting for one minute Border Force are going to do that to these children but where are they going to be placed and is it going to be an appropriate location for them?”Laura Padoan, of UNHCR – the UN refugee agency, said: “It’s not appropriate for unaccompanied minors to be left in the care of the coastguard, especially as a number of young girls on their own have arrived in the last few days.“They should be transferred to local authority care as soon as possible, if not in Kent then elsewhere.”Bella Sankey, director of Detention Action, described the situation as a “scandal” and said it “should be a source of deep shame for this government”.She told PA: “This is a political failure, pure and simple. The government must urgently U-turn and ensure that vulnerable children are immediately taken into care rather than detained in prison-like facilities.“It is deeply worrying that this entirely preventable situation has occurred.“Instead of ensuring that unaccompanied child refugees are provided with essential support when they arrive in the UK, the home secretary has spent the last few weeks trashing the UK’s proud record of helping the world’s most vulnerable and trying to turn this situation into a Trumpian culture war.“Priti Patel needs to show some moral leadership and quit the playground politics.”A spokesperson for Kent County Council (KCC) told the PA news agency the increased arrivals of unaccompanied migrant children has “exhausted” Kent’s resources such as social workers, independent reviewing officers, care workers and suitable accommodation.Meetings between the council and government are under way in an effort to find a resolution today, the council said.A Home Office spokesperson said: “This is an unprecedented situation and we continue to work closely with the Department for Education and local government on provision for unaccompanied minors.“Unaccompanied children arriving in Dover are being cared for in the Kent Intake Unit before being placed in appropriate social services care.”The Home Office said the Kent Intake Unit is a “processing centre” where people who arrive by small boat are taken, and rejected descriptions of it as a detention location.It told PA discussions are continuing “at pace” with social services from other local authorities already on board.A Home Office spokesperson added that it does not foresee any children remaining in Border Force care for very long.Related... Opinion: The Government Is Demonising Migrants To Distract You From Its Failings Using Navy To Stop Migrants Crossing The Channel Would Be 'Unlawful And Dangerous', Amnesty Warns Priti Patel Is Arguing With An Ice-Cream Company Over Migrant Crossings
It’s no coincidence that in the week the UK dipped into the worst recession the country has ever seen, the government chose to redirect public attention to a small number of people crossing the British channel.Public mood suggests that the country wants answers to difficult questions, to understand the high death toll from coronavirus and the depth of the economic fallout. So, it’s no real surprise that the government is looking to find someone to blame.This is not a new tactic from the government. In a disturbingly regular cycle, when the news cycle is quiet, and the summer months are warm, the government turns its eye to the Channel.Related... Priti Patel Is Arguing With An Ice-Cream Company Over Migrant Crossings Using Navy To Stop Migrants Crossing The Channel Would Be 'Unlawful And Dangerous', Amnesty Warns Successive Home Secretaries have chosen this strategy, vilifying people who want nothing more than to live otherwise ordinary lives in safety, but whose only path is the dangerous journey across the Channel.When the public hears the stories of people granted refuge in the UK, they are sympathetic, understanding that fleeing war, persecution and hardship is a matter of life and death, and that being with the people you love is of utmost importance.Many of us have felt a fraction of this during the pandemic and can wholly relate – how many of us have desperately wished we could be with the people we love during lockdown? But what the government does not tell us is that the only difference between refugees in the UK and those in Calais, is 15 miles.The reality is these perilous journeys are a problem of the government’s making, one that has gotten progressively worse decade after decade.Where we can agree with the government is that these journeys need to end – no one wants these journeys to occur, least of all those forced to risk their lives on overcrowded dinghies and those providing services, support and legal advice. But the reality is that these perilous journeys are a problem of the government’s making, one that has gotten progressively worse decade after decade, and could be resolved with simple action.The government’s current proposals to “secure” the borders will do nothing to end dangerous crossings or curtail trafficking. We’ve heard all of this before – that it’s France’s responsibility, that the route should be made “unviable” and that that the Navy should “push people back” in breach of international refugee and maritime law.When the government abruptly closed camps in Calais in 2016, organisations on the ground warned that these strategies would push people away from oversight, and directly into the hands of traffickers. Similarly, a report from the Foreign Affairs Select Committee in 2019 highlighted that “policy that focuses exclusively on closing borders will drive migrants to take more dangerous routes, and push them into the hands of criminal groups” – Priti Patel sat on this very committee.The region of Calais acts as a black hole, where a small but steady population of homeless and destitute people are trapped, vulnerable to people traffickers and smugglers, exposed to violence from the French authorities, denied support service and legal advice.Related... I’m An Asylum Seeker. Coronavirus Is Tearing Apart My Second Chance At Life Many have family or loved ones in the UK and are desperate to reach them but in most cases, it is physically impossible to apply for asylum unless you are on British soil.The only existing routes to apply from outside the UK include the Global Resettlement Scheme, which is limited to Syrian refugees and has currently been suspended – no one has been resettled since March, and the Family Reunion Reunification route, which is extremely limited in its definition of “family”. Earlier this year, the government closed the Dubs route so that even unaccompanied children in the EU cannot reach the UK safely. The only way to ensure that these journeys are ended is to introduce accessible and legal ways for people to apply for asylum or entry from abroad, so that they can travel here safely and don’t have to rely on people traffickers.This could include expanding or recommitting to existing routes, introducing a claims processing centre in France or establishing Humanitarian Visas. Safe and legal routes would be a far more simple and pragmatic solution than building higher walls, putting a blindfold over our eyes and our hands over our hearts.In the coming months, we can expect to see the government increase their dangerous rhetoric about those crossing, as a means to scapegoat migrants for their catastrophic failings.It will be migrants who are to blame for the lack of jobs, a drop in house prices, the decimation of the high street and long queues at the Jobcentre – when this couldn’t be further from the truth. At this precise moment, it is vital that we call for safe and legal routes of entry to the UK, ensuring that no one dies trying to reach what should be home. But it is equally important that we stand fast against dangerous rhetoric – the same rhetoric that placed responsibility for the last financial crisis on to migrants. A compassionate and practical approach must be championed by everyone who wants to end dangerous crossings once and for all.Minnie Rahman is public affairs and campaigns manager for the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants.Related... Refugee Resettlement Scheme Still Closed Despite Record Channel Crossings Priti Patel Accused Of 'Sabre-Rattling' Over Reports Navy Could Turn Back Migrant Boats Opinion: Britain's Citizenship Test Is Racist A Tory MP Has Suggested 'Taking Back Calais' As Solution To Migrant Crossings
Home secretary Priti Patel has engaged in a war of words with an ice-cream manufacturer over the controversy surrounding migrants crossing the English Channel.More than 4,000 migrants have made the dangerous voyage across the world’s busiest shipping lane this year, with at least 597 arriving between Thursday and Sunday.The surge has been seized on by the media, which has sent reporters out to the Channel to monitor the crossings, with some receiving criticism for the tone of their coverage and accusing them of “voyeurism”. It follows Patel deploying the navy and a campaign by ex-Ukip leader Nigel Farage highlighting the “invasion”.On Tuesday, the official Ben and Jerry’s UK Twitter account posted a series of tweets tagging the home secretary, which began: “Hey @PritiPatel, we think the real crisis is our lack of humanity for people fleeing war, climate change and torture.” Hey @PritiPatel we think the real crisis is our lack of humanity for people fleeing war, climate change and torture. We pulled together a thread for you..— Ben & Jerry's UK (@benandjerrysUK) August 11, 2020 The ice cream maker also cited a HuffPost UK report that revealed the UK hasn’t resettled any refugees since March, despite the fact that “wars and violence continue”, it added.“What we need is more safe and legal route,” said Ben and Jerry’s. It continued by insisting that “stronger borders aren’t the answer” and urged ministers to talk to “expert organisations”, including charity Refugee Action.The thread ends: “Let’s remember we’re all human and have the same rights to life regardless of the country we happen to have been born in. “And once more for the back: PEOPLE CANNOT BE ILLEGAL.”In response to the thread, the BBC reported a “source” close to Patel branding the firm’s product as “overpriced junk food”. OOOF! Home Office source: “Priti is working day&night to bring an end to these small boat crossings, which are facilitated by international criminal gangs&are of serious concern. If that means upsetting the social media team for a brand of overpriced junk food then so be it.”— Chris Mason (@ChrisMasonBBC) August 11, 2020 The Home Office source told the BBC: “Priti is working day and night to bring and end to these small boat crossings, which are facilitated by international criminal gangs and are rightly of serious concern to the British people.“If that means upsetting the social media team for a brand of overpriced junk food, then so be it.”Ben and Jerry’s was founded in 1978 by best friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield in Vermont, US, and was bought by multinational company Unilever in 2000.Immigration minister Chris Philp on Tuesday promised a “new, comprehensive action plan” to stem the latest surge in migrant Channel crossings after talks with French officials.Philp and newly-appointed clandestine channel threat commander Dan O’Mahoney travelled to Paris on Tuesday to seek stronger enforcement measures.It comes as lawyers representing asylum seekers who arrived in the UK by crossing the Channel on small boats launched legal action to halt their deportation, which is due to take place on Wednesday.Related... Using Navy To Stop Migrants Crossing The Channel Would Be 'Unlawful And Dangerous', Amnesty Warns Refugee Resettlement Scheme Still Closed Despite Record Channel Crossings Priti Patel Accused Of 'Sabre-Rattling' Over Reports Navy Could Turn Back Migrant Boats
Franky Zapata is making the channel crossing attempt using his jetpack, but botched the landing on his refuelling boat halfway across.This time, he's going to get a bigger boat.When Zapata first announced he would be flying across the channel, he gave himself a success rate of 30 per cent, but his team were still miffed when he crashed into the sea, saying it was a "huge disappointment", especially because they had practised the manoeuvre "dozens of times in heavier seas."Apparently he missed the boat by a scant few centimetres, so of course, the answer is obvious.You can't miss the boat if it's aaalll boat.We don't know how much bigger the refuelling boat is going to be, but I'd wager they're not taking any chances this time, particularly as Zapata has referred to the jet-powered hoverboard his "life's work," and that was after the thing gobbled up two of his fingers in its turbines.
A French inventor, best known for creating the water-jet hoverboard that thrills tourists at posh holiday destinations, is about to attempt a modern assault on the Channel-crossing record; becoming the first person to do it on a jet-powered hoverboard.Franky Zapata plans to whizz from Sangatte on the French side to St Margaret's Bay over here on Thursday, and could do so in as few as 20 minutes, as long as his mid-Channel refuelling stop goes as planned and he doesn't clang off the side of too many container ships.He's already proven the tech in style with his strafing of the Bastille Day celebrations, although this is a vastly harder challenge that he expects to... fail.Zapaty told the Parisien that: "I used 3 per cent of the machine's capabilities [on Bastille Day] and I'll need 99 per cent for the Channel.It won't be easy at all and I reckon I've a 30 per cent chance of succeeding."We're not sure if that means there's a 70 per cent chance of him smashing into the sea at 80mph and separating himself into component pieces like a Lego minifig, or that there's merely a 70 per cent chance of getting his hair wet and being fished out of the sea by support vessels and having to do lots of sheepish Gallic shrugging to the media.
Xinhua/Jie Ke·chen via Getty ImagesThe inventor of the Flyboard Air, Franky Zapata, says he plans to cross the English Channel on his jet-powered hoverboard on Thursday to mark the 110th anniversary of the first airplane flight between Britain and France, The Guardian reports.Zapata says he’ll fly between Sangatte and St Margaret’s Bay in a crossing that should only take around 20 minutes at speeds up 140 km/h (around 87 mph).The crossing will be a challenge for the French inventor, who has previously said that it takes between 50 and 100 hours of practice on the company’s previous water-powered Flyboard just to be able to stand up on the jet-powered Flyboard Air.Speaking to The Parasian Zapata said that his last flight, a demonstration flight over the crowds at Bastille Day, used about 3 percent of the hoverboard’s capabilities, compared with 99.9 percent for the Channel crossing.He estimated his chances of success as being around 30 percent.
As a refugee charity worker, I've met so people who have made the dangerous Channel Crossing – it is only a matter of time before we have to face the sight of bodies dead on our shores, Bridget Chapman wirtesHuffPost is part of Oath.Oath and our partners need your consent to access your device and use your data (including location) to understand your interests, and provide and measure personalised ads.Oath will also provide you with personalised ads on partner products.Select 'OK' to continue and allow Oath and our partners to use your data, or select 'Manage options' to view your choices.