Egypt follows up on situation of illegal migration shipwreck with Greek authorities



Fri, 16 Jun 2023 - 04:37 GMT


Fri, 16 Jun 2023 - 04:37 GMT

A boat with illegal migrants - CC via East Anglia bylines

A boat with illegal migrants - CC via East Anglia bylines

CAIRO – 16 June 2023: Egypt mourned -with great sadness- the victims of an overcrowded fishing boat carrying illegal migrants from Libya to Europe, announced the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement on Friday.


The fishing boat capsized off the coast of Greece and led to the drowning of hundreds of refugees in the Mediterranean Sea on June 14. The Greek Coast Guard said that 104 people have been rescued so far and 78 bodies have been recovered, said the Greek Coast Guard in a statement, adding that nine men, who are Egyptian [aged 26, 21, 40, 36, 32, 26, 22, 29 and 20 years old], from the rescued people were arrested for having “distinct roles in the transport of the rest.” The search and rescue operation is still ongoing.


The Egyptian Embassy in Athens is following up on the situation with the concerned Greek authorities around the clock, searching for the missing and recovering the bodies of the victims to confirm the identity and numbers of the Egyptian victims, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry’s statement said.


“Egypt reaffirms its condemnation, in the strongest terms, of the ongoing exploitation by organized gangs of illegal immigration crimes against those who are looking for a better life and work opportunities and exposing their lives to the dangers of death and loss of hope,” the statement read.


“In this regard, Egypt confirms that it has taken decisive measures over the past years to put in place deterrent laws against crimes of illegal immigration and anyone involved in organizing or facilitating them,” the statement added, noting that the Egyptian authorities have taken measures to control the borders in order to prevent the exit of illegal immigrants across the Egyptian coast.


Egypt extended its sincere condolences and sympathy to the families and relatives of the victims, the statement concluded.


In April 2022, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi signed Law No. 22 of 2022 amending some provisions of Law No. 82 of 2016 on combating illegal migration and the smuggling of migrants.


Under the amendments, tougher penalties shall be imposed on whoever commits, initiates, or mediates in the crime of smuggling migrants. The law was published in the Official Gazette on April 13, 2022.


On Feb.23, 2022, the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee at the Egyptian Parliament approved a draft law submitted by the government to amend some provisions of the Law on Combating Illegal Immigration and Smuggling of Migrants promulgated by Law No. (82) of 2016.


In a press conference held on the sidelines of the Visegrad Group (V4) summit in Budapest, Hungary, in October 2021, President Sisi said that his country will never to be a transit point for illegal migrants who eying Europe.



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