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Migrant tells of cruelty before deadly boat wreck off Turkey

Migrants swim to safety after travelling on the Mediterranean sea, seen on August 30, 2016 [Tamer Yazar/Twitter]
File photo [Tamer Yazar/Twitter]

A survivor of this morning’s boat wreck in the Aegean Sea told the Anadolu Agency how the human smugglers subjected the migrants to inhumane treatment before their deadly voyage.

Nine people died and four others were rescued after a boat carrying migrants sank off Kusadasi in the coastal Aydin province today.

Among the casualties were seven children and two women.

“I asked the organisers for a life vest. They said, ‘No, just get on. Otherwise, we’ll kill you’,” Oner Rahad said.

“They made us get on the boat at gunpoint. They said, ‘We have your money; we won’t give it back to you if you don’t sail’,” he recalled.

UN:1,500 migrants drowned in Mediterranean in 2018

Though he survived the wreck with his four-year-old child, Rahad was mourning for his late wife and three children in front of Kusadasi State Hospital.

Rahad said that they came to Kusadasi with another Iraqi family of six to cross to Greece and paid the smugglers $3,000 per family.

They made the payment to the six organisers of the human trafficking, including three Syrians, Rahad added.

Recounting the harried moments before the boat capsized, Rahad said after getting a phone call the driver tried to jump into the sea.

He said the boat capsized when the driver stepped on the gas before diving into the water.

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