Channel deaths: Protestors at Home Office to demand end to drownings

Feminist group Sisters Uncut has organised a demonstration outside the Westminster headquarters of the Home Office this evening (Thursday, November 25).

Protestors will gather outside the Home Office to demand an end to deaths in the English Channels, after 27 people drowned in the deadliest crossing on record.

Feminist group Sisters Uncut has organised a demonstration outside the Westminster headquarters of the Home Office this evening (Thursday, November 25).

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The group said: “We cannot allow people seeking refuge to continue to die at sea, and we cannot continue to allow people seeking safety to be locked up in detention centres.

“Join us as we demand no more channel deaths! No more borders! No more state murders!”

The deceased included 17 men, seven women - one of whom was pregnant - and three children, who are all believed to be Iraqi or Iranian Kurds, according to French media.

The group were attempting to cross the Channel in a flimsy overcrowded dinghy boat.

The cause of the accident remains unknown, but the boat was reportedly deflated when it was found, and five alleged traffickers linked to the incident have been arrested in France.

A digital flyer shared by Sisters Uncut reads: “No more Channel deaths. Emergency demo outside the Home Office, Marsham St, 6.30 pm, Thursday November 25.”

The group added: “A threat to one of us is a threat to all of us.

“No more violent policing of borders, no more detention centres, no more channel deaths, no more deaths at the hands of the state.”

Two people have already appeared in court linked to the incident and an investigation into aggravated manslaughter has been opened by prosecutors.

Just two men, an Iraqi Kurd and a Somalian, made a “miracle escape” from the sinking dinghy.

They have indicated that a container ship collided with them, according to rescuers.

The task of performing autopsies and identifying the victims will take place over the next few days in Lille, in northern France, the city’s public prosecutor Carole Etienne confirmed.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “My thoughts are with the families of all of those who have tragically lost their lives in French waters today.

“It serves as the starkest possible reminder of the dangers of these Channel crossings organised by ruthless criminal gangs.

“It is why this Government’s New Plan for Immigration will overhaul our broken asylum system and address many of the long-standing pull factors encouraging migrants to make the perilous journey from France to the United Kingdom.

“We will continue to intensify all cooperation with France and other European partners to prevent migrants embarking on these deadly journeys.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I am shocked, appalled and deeply saddened by the loss of life at sea in the Channel.

“My thoughts are with the victims and their families.

“Now is the time for us all to step up, work together and do everything we can to stop these gangs who are getting away with murder.”