2021 Channel tragedy: one man’s quest to know why rescuers let his brother die


On November 24th last year, an inflatable dinghy carrying at least 33 migrants across the Channel from France to England took on water and sank, leaving just two survivors. The bodies of 27 people were recovered, and at least four others were never found, including that of the 18-year-old brother of Zana Mamand Mohammad. He travelled to Paris from Iraq this month to meet with French investigators who have established that rescue services were repeatedly called for help, but failed to respond. “How could the French and English authorities have left children, women and men die at sea while for hours they had raised the alarm about their sinking?” he asked in an interview with Mediapart. 

France to expel 44 of 234 migrants rescued from Mediterranean

International — Link

After allowing NGO rescue ship Ocean Viking carrying 234 migrants rescued at sea to dock in Toulon, French interior minister Gérald Darmanin has announced that 44 of the group will be deported 'as soon as their health allows', and that others may yet also be expelled.

UK strikes revised deal with France on Channel migrants

International — Link

UK police officers will be embedded with their French counterparts in control rooms and on beaches and the number of officers patrolling the French coast to try to stop people setting off will rise.

France-Italy migration row escalates after rescue ship docks in Toulon

France — Link

French government calls Italy ‘inhumane’ for refusing vessel but Italian PM hits back as rift deepens.

People rescued in Italian waters spark row between Italy and France

International — Link

French government calls Rome’s refusal to let boat carrying 234 asylum seekers dock ‘unacceptable’.

France to speed up migrant expulsions but relax rules for some workers

France — Link

Government will make it easier to obtain residency permits for those who work in sectors struggling to find workers.

Migrant trafficking: the trial of ‘Mr Average’ caught smuggling dinghy and life jackets to the French coast

Justice — Report

On August 22nd, a total of 1,295 migrants landed on the shores of southern England from France, a record daily figure, bringing the number of people who have made the same perilous crossing of the Channel so far this year to more than 22,500. Migrant smuggling gangs typically demand 3,000 euros per person for a place on the flimsy dinghies and key to the logistics of these networks are ‘mules’ who transport the boats and equipment, often from Germany, to the French coast. Camille Polloni travelled to the northern French city of Lille to follow the trial last week of one of them, whose lawyer said he was a “Mister average who works every day”.

Migrant crossings of Channel reach new daily record

International — Link

A total of 1,295 migrants in 27 small boats crossed the Channel from France to England on Monday according to the UK defence ministry, marking the highest number ever recorded in a single day, while the more than 22,500 people who have made the perilous crossing so far this year is almost double the numbers recorded over the same period in 2021. 

Migrants die, the world looks the other way

France — Opinion

From the north of France to the Aegean Sea, from the Mediterranean to Mexico, the number of deaths at our borders is rising.  More than 24,000 people are officially known to have perished on the perilous Mediterranean sea route alone since 2014. Yet these recurring tragedies produce no reaction from our political leaders. In this opinion article Mediapart's Nejma Brahim says this casual acceptance of migrant deaths cannot continue.

Record daily number of migrants cross Channel to UK

International — Link

Close to 700 people in small boats were recorded on Monday to have clandestinely crossed the Channel to England from France, while the French authorities intercepted two boats carrying 70 people attempting the same journey.

UK agrees to open full inquiry into Channel drowning deaths of 27

International — Link

The British government has announced the launching of a detailed investigation into the drowning last November of 27 people, three of whom were children, during their clandestine crossing of the Channel from France to England, following legal action by lawyers acting for several of the victims' families who suspect 'serious failings' in rescue operations.

One man dies and thirty people rescued in Channel crossing attempt

France — Link

A man believed to be of Sudanese origin has died and 30 other people were rescued on Friday after a dinghy attempting to cross the Channel to the UK ran into difficulty close to the French coast.

The volunteers helping return the bodies of those who died in the Channel tragedy


All of the 27 bodies recovered after the sinking in the Channel last month of an inflatable dinghy carrying migrants attempting to reach the UK from France were finally identified last week, when official permits were issued for their burials. The dead were from seven different countries, to where their families want their remains to be returned. But, as Nejma Brahim and Sarah Brethes report, the French state will only provide for burials in France, and the costs involved of repatriating the bodies are beyond the relatives’ resources.

French authorities identify victims of Channel migrant boat disaster

France — Link

The identities of 26 of the 27 recorded victims of the sinking in the Channel last month of a boat carrying migrants trying to cross the sea from France to the UK have been identified by the French authorities.

France rejects idea of British patrols along Calais beaches

International — Link

Move would ‘compromise sovereignty’ and UK should sort out alternative to people’s perilous Channel crossings, says French prime minister.