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Egypt court convicts 56 over migrant boat sinking that killed 200

Egypt court convicts 56 over migrant boat sinking that killed 200

Egypt

An Egyptian court has sentenced 56 people to jail over the capsizing of a migrant boat that killed more than 200 migrants in September.

The court handed sentences ranging from two to 14 years.

The convicted were found guilt of manslaughter, negligence, using a boat for unlicensed purposes, endangering children, and organising illegal immigration.

The boat was destined for Italy when it sank 12 km off the Egyptian port of Rosetta.

Survivors said up to 450 people had been crowded aboard the fishing trawler when it keeled over, including an estimated 100 in its hold.

The Egyptian military said at the time that 163 people were rescued.

Most of those rescued were Egyptians but they also included people from Sudan, Eritrea, Syria and Ethiopia.

According to the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR, more than 5,000 migrants are thought to have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea in 2016, a record figure the organisation described as “a devastating milestone.”

In recent years, thousands of migrants and refugees from a variety of countries have attempted to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe, with an increasing number departing via smugglers’ boats from Egypt’s northern coast.

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