GENEVA: At least 30,510 deaths occurred between 2014 and 2018 during irregular migration around the world, the UN International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in a report today.
More than 19,000 deaths and disappearances were recorded due to drowning, not only in the Mediterranean Sea but also in the Rio Grande, the Bay of Bengal and many other overseas routes, said the IOM citing data gathered by its Missing Migrants Project.
Nearly half of the five-year total fatalities of at least 14,795 men, women and children were recorded on the central Mediterranean route between North Africa and Italy.
The Missing Migrants Project estimates that at least 17,644 lives were lost at sea on all three trans-Mediterranean routes in the last five years, equivalent to roughly 10 times the number of people who drowned when the luxury liner Titanic sank in 1912.
“Irregular migration poses significant risks to those who undertake such journeys, and safe, legal pathways are urgently needed so that fewer people resort to this option,” said Dr. Frank Laczko, director of IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre.
“Even though many focus on the Mediterranean, the truth of the matter is that people die on migratory routes worldwide,” he said.
Due to the lack of official information on deaths during migration, and a lack of detail on most of those who die during migration, the IOM said the figures are best understood as a minimum estimate.
Deaths recorded during migration throughout Africa comprise the second-largest regional total of the 30,000 deaths logged since 2014, with 6,629 fatalities recorded since 2014.
Nearly 4,000 of those deaths occurred in northern Africa, where a lack of reliable data and extensive anecdotal reports indicate that many more migrants have died than are recorded.
In Asia, where data are similarly scarce, the deaths of more than 2,900 people were recorded during migration, including 2,191 in Southeast Asia and 531 in the Middle East.
At least 2,959 people died migrating in the Americas in the last five years, more than 60 percent of whom (at least 1,871) lost their lives on the border between Mexico and the United States.
There were more than 1,000 deaths in the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean between 2014 and 2018, although the difficulty in obtaining reliable reports — particularly at sea or through remote jungle areas — means that migrant deaths were likely far higher, said the IOM.
One arrested, drugs seized in operation
ATTOCK: The police on Wednesday arrested one accused and seized drugs in an operation.
Police said Sub-inspector, Izhar Ahmad, during routine patrolling stopped a truck for snap checking but the driver tried to escape from the scene.
The police arrested the driver accused Zaroon Shah, a resident of Jalalabad.
During snap checking, 16 packets of 8000 grams heroin worth million of rupees was recovered from the truck.
Police have registered a case against the driver.
Further probe was underway.
3 human traffickers arrested
ISLAMABAD: Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Rawalpindi Circle Wednesday arrested three accused allegedly involved in human trafficking.
According to details, the accused were identified as Abdul Qayyum, Ikram Gul and Mazhar Iqbal, a press release said.
The further investigation is in progress.
Jakarta ex-governor freed from prison after blasphemy sentence
JAKARTA: Jakarta’s former governor has been released from prison, his assistant said Thursday, nearly two years after his blasphemy conviction fanned fears over religious intolerance in the world’s biggest Muslim-majority nation.
Basuki Tjahaja Purnama — the Indonesian capital’s first non-Muslim governor in half a century and its first ethnic Chinese leader — left Mako Brimob prison in Depok, outside Jakarta, at around 7:30 am local time, Ima Mahdiah told media.
Supporters of the former governor, who is popularly known as Ahok, gathered outside the prison, chanting and cheering his new-found freedom.
The release ends one of the most tumultuous chapters in Indonesian politics in recent memory.
Purnama had been a popular politician who won praise for trying to clean up the traffic-clogged megacity and clamp down on corruption before his imprisonment.
But his downfall came quickly after comments he made on the campaign trail during a re-election bid saw him accused of insulting Islam.
The filmed remarks, which went viral online, sparked mass protests in Jakarta, spearheaded by radical groups opposed to a non-Muslim leader and encouraged by his political rivals.
He lost the election to a Muslim challenger and was then sentenced to two years’ jail in May 2017.
It was an unusually harsh sentence — prosecutors had only recommended probation for the now 52-year-old.
“He was picked up by his son Nicholas Sean Purnama” after being released, his assistant Mahdiah said. “He will spend time with his family first, resting.”
Purnama’s case drew international headlines and a wave of criticism, including from the United Nations, which urged the country of 260 million to revise its decades-old blasphemy law.
The charge against him centred on a remark he made to voters about his Muslim rivals using a Koranic verse to trick people into voting against him, which judges ruled amounted to blasphemy against Islam.