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Government / Local politics

Brighton's beach is littered with body bags to highlight the migrant drowning crisis

On Saturday night, hundreds of people drowned in the Mediterranean sea, just off the coast of Libya. They were aboard a ship carrying 900 migrants from Libya to Italy which lost its way and capsized, possibly after a collision with a fishing boat.


Last year, the EU decided to scale back search-and-rescue operations for those undertaking the dangerous passage from North Africa to Europe on overfilled, badly staffed and illegal ships. It’s clear by now that this was a mistake: Saturday’s tragedy takes 2015’s migrant death toll to 1,500 – at least 30 times higher than the total this time last year.

Today in Brighton, Amnesty International volunteers took a stand against the decision. Around 200 zipped themselves into body bags and lay in neat formation near the pier, next to a banner reading “#DontLetThemDrown”.

Amnesty has also launched a petition, which asks signatories to: 

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Tell David Cameron to make saving lives the priority – there is no justification for leaving people to drown.

A total of 9,293 people have signed so far.

The direct action comes ahead of a summit in Brussels tomorrow, where European heads of state will attempt to resolve the problem. Let’s hope it hits home.

Here are some more pictures of the protest. 

      

All images: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty
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