Channel crossings & UK

Brief der Hinterbliebenen der Havarie an Premierminister Sunak

Am Jahrestag der Havarie eines Schlauchbootes am 24. November 2021 richteten Hinterbliebene einen offenen Brief an den britischen Premierminister Rishi Sunak. Sie fordern Gerechtigkeit für die über 30 Opfer, von denen einige nicht einmal tot geborgen werden konnten. Die Familien von neunzehn der Opfer benennen die Verantwortung beider Staaten für das letztlich tödliche Ausbleiben eines Rettungseinsatzes und verlangen eine transparente Aufklärung des Geschehens. Nicht zuletzt fordern sie eine grundlegende Veränderung der Politik gegenüber den Bootsflüchtlingen, die Schaffung sicherer Routen und ein Ende der antimigrantischen Rhetorik der politischen Führung Großbritanniens. Wir dokumentieren den von zivilgesellschaftlichen Akteur_innen mitunterzeichneten Brief in der von Care4Calais veröffentlichten Form:

Demand justice for the victims and families of 24th November 2021 tragedy in the channel

To: Rishi Sunak

On 24 November 2021, 32 people slowly froze to death in the icy waters of the English Channel while waiting for a rescue that never came.  27 bodies were recovered and four are still missing, only adding to the pain of the families left behind. There were 21 men, seven women including one who was pregnant, and three adolescents who died.  

Their flimsy boat left France around 10pm, but around midnight began to deflate and sink in the middle of the Channel.  Between 2am and 4am the passengers called the French and English rescue services many times begging for help.  No one came. The French told them they were in British waters and the British told them they were in French waters.  Around 3am the boat overturned, tipping all passengers into the water and some began to drown because of the waves.  Over time, others resigned themselves to letting go as they gave in to the cold.

Eleven hours later – at 2pm the next day – a French fisherman spotted the bodies in the water and raised the alarm.  When the French coastguard finally arrived they found only two survivors. 

We will never let the lives that were lost on the 24 November 2021 be forgotten. For the victims and their families, we demand justice.

We demand answers to why French and British authorities failed desperate people who came asking for help. 

We demand to know when the results of the Article 2 Inquiry will be made public to give answers to the families who have already waited a year.

We demand an end to the poisonous rhetoric used by our politicians – calling innocent refugees ‘illegal migrants’ or, worse, ‘an invasion’ – which breeds fear and division. 

We demand that the government changes its approach to Channel migrants. All the evidence shows that the overwhelming majority are in genuine need of our help, and if their claims were processed they would be granted asylum. 

We call for safe passage to allow these refugees to claim asylum in Britain without risking their lives in the Channel. 

We call for their claims to be processed quickly so they can become a valuable part of our communities, secure work and contribute to the success of our country. 

On behalf of the victims of the 24 November 2021 and their families, we demand change. 

We demand that the division and fear of anti migrant rhetoric used by political leaders is replaced with the kindness, compassion and empathy that people and communities across Britain show everyday to refugees.


Family Member NameVictim’s Name
Zana Mamand Mohammad relative ofTwana Mamand Mohammad
Mstafa Mina Nabi relative ofZaniar Mstafa Mina
Rasul Farkha Husein relative ofPshtiwan Rasul Farkha
Saman Abubakir Alipour relative ofSirwan Abubakir Alipour
Husen Mohammad relative ofMahammad Husen Mohammad
Sarhad Pirot Mohammad relative ofSarkawt Pirot Mohammad
Shamal Ali Pirot relative ofShakar Ali Pirot
Ahmad Mohammad Akoyi relative ofAfrasia Ahmad Mohammad
Abdulkarim Hamd Abdulrahman relative ofBryar Hamd Abdulrahman
Ismail Hamd Qadir relative ofMuslim Ismail Hamd
Rizgar Husen Hamd relative ofKajal Ahmad Khizir
Hadye Rizgar Husen
Mubin Rizhar Husen
Hasti Rizgar Husen
Yasin Husen Hamd relative ofRezhwan Yasin Hasan
Qadir Abdullah relative ofMohammad Qadir Abdullah
Omar Mohammed relative ofHassan Mohammed Ali
Ali Mohammed relative ofHassan Mohammed Ali
Emebet Kefyalew Gizaw relative ofFikeru Shiferaw Tekalegn

Other Signatories:

Clare MoseleyCEO Care4Calais
Weyman BennettCo-convener Stand Up To Racism
Kudsia BatoolHead of Equalities at the TUC
Wilf SulivanRace Equality Officer at the TUC
Aamer AnwarHuman Rights Lawyer, Scotland
Dave WardCWU General Secretary
Mick LynchRMT General Secretary
Eddie DempseyRMT Senior Assistant General Secretary
Sharon GrahamUnite General Secretary
Kevin CourtneyNEU General Secretary
Sarah WoolleyBFAWU General Secretary
Matt WrackFBU General Secretary
Riccardo la TorreFBU National Officer
Paul O’ConnorPCS Union Head of Bargaining
Ricky JonesTSSA Organiser
Rabbi Lee Wax
Rev Judith MorrisGeneral Secretary, Baptist Union of
David RosenbergJewish Socialist Group
Nazek RamadanMigrant Voice
Simon TylerExecutive Director at Doctors of the World
Aderonke ApataFounder and CEO African Rainbow Family and Founder and
Chairperson of Manchester Migrant Solidarity
Naomi WebbExecutive Director at Good Chance Theatre
Nick BealesHead of Campaigning at Refugee &
Migrant Forum of Essex and London
Eleanor BrownManaging Director, CARAS
(Community Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers)
Heidi RadkeChair, Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign (CRRC)
William GomesDirector, the William Gomes Podcast
Amber BauerCEO forRefugees
Ros HollandCEO The Boaz Trust
Beth Gardiner-SmithCEO at Safe Passage International
Steve MartinDirector of Channel Rescue
Catharine WalstonChair, Cambridge Convoy Refugee Action Group
Natalia PaszkiewiczProject Lead, Da’aro Youth Project
Indre LechtimiakyteLegal and Migrant Manager at Samphire
Michael RosenAuthor
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP
Zarah Sultana MP
Paul Sweeney MSP