A distressing and truly heartbreaking photo of a drowned Syrian baby has cast the spotlight on the plight of refugees wanting to have a new life in other countries. They embark the dangerous travel at sea to escape the conflicts in their region – only to meet death on the way.
The drowned Syrian baby is not the first case. There are also photos of five children who turned up dead in the shore of Zuwara in Libya.
According to Migrant Report, the photo of the drowned Syrian baby was first reported by Turkish Dogan Haber news agency. In the photo, the boy was shown lying face down in the sand. The baby, roughly aged one to two year olds, was wearing a red shirt and blue shorts. He is one among the 12 Syrian refugees whose boat capsized trying to reach the Greek island of Kos.
Migrant Report said there were two boats heading to Kos which left from Bodrum. The first boat had 17 Syrian refugees but only seven survived. There were two children who also turned up dead from this boat. The second boat carried six refugees from Kurdish town of Kobane in Syria. From this boat, three children, under three years old, were also found dead. One of the survivors said they paid Euro 2,000, or $2,200, per person for the journey.
The photo of the dead Syrian baby is making headlines in different news networks across the world. But UK’s The Independent had put into words the significance of the photo – “If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?”
Peter Bouckaert, a researcher for the United Nations Human Rights Watch, said he “thought long and hard” before retweeting the photo. But he decided to do so.
“What struck me the most were his little sneakers, certainly lovingly put on by his parents that morning as they dressed him for their dangerous journey,” Bouckart wrote in a blog. His post of the photo was accompanied by this caption: “Just pause 4 moment & imagine this was your child, drowned trying 2 flee Syria war 4 safety of EU.”
Morning News USA decided not to publish the photo but it can be found here. Migrant Report meanwhile had also published photos of five other children who died after their boat capsized off the shores of Zuwara, a coastal town 60 kms west of Tripoli. The bodies were recovered by the Libya Red Crescent. The article upholds that these are the photos that people need to see to cast light on the magnitude of the migrant crisis.
“This tragedy has shaken the community,” said Ibrahim Gibara, an official of the Zuwara municipality. “We are not for this, we are against it. When you see the bodies of small children, it’s just too much,” he said. The photos can be seen here (warning: graphic content).
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