Four handed 30 years in jail for migrant deaths in Turkey
by Anadolu Agency
ÇANAKKALEApr 29, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Anadolu Agency
Apr 29, 2015 12:00 am
Four Turkish nationals have been sentenced to 30 years each in prison for the deaths of 24 fugitives when a boat sank in July 2013 in the Aegean Sea.
A court in the northwestern province of Çanakkale handed seven years and six months to the boat's owner Veysel Bozbaş, Captain Ramazan Dova and two aides for human trafficking.
The guilty men were also given 22 years and six months on charges of causing multiple deaths with conscious negligence.
The vessel sank 10 miles off the coast of Tavaklı village, Çanakkale, while in international waters. Twenty-four people died in total while coast guards rescued 12 others.
Today's verdict comes as the broader Mediterranean Sea region continues to be the sight of tragic deaths of migrant.
Since the start of 2015, more than 1,750 people have died, according to the International Organization for Migration - 30 times the number for the same period in 2014.
Human rights organizations have repeatedly criticized European leaders for their decision in November last year to shut down the EU's Mare Nostrum search-and-rescue operation, which used to save migrants, including children, who were at risk of drowning.
The European Union now runs a more limited operation called Triton under the bloc's Frontex border controls agency.
Last week on Thursday, the EU's 28 leaders agreed to boost funding for operations in the Mediterranean to 120 million euros at an emergency meeting following the deaths of more than 800 people at sea on April 18 and April 19.
The European Parliament will meet Wednesday to discuss action to halt migrant deaths in the Mediterranean region.