Home Kent News Remains of baby who drowned during Channel crossing found in Norway

Remains of baby who drowned during Channel crossing found in Norway

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Original article from Kent Live

Norwegian Police have said the body of a baby found on the country's coast is a missing 15 month old who died in the English Channel last year.

Artin died along with four family members when the boat they were travelling in sank in October.

A Kurdish-Iranian family, they had been attempting to reach the UK from France.

Relatives have spoken of their grief and confusion as they waited to hear what had happened to Artin.

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On Monday, police in Norway said the body had been found on the country's south-western shore near Karmoy by two officers on New Year's Day.

Now the child's remains will be flown back to Iran to be buried.

Rasoul Iran-Nejad, 35, Shiva Mohammad Panahi, 35, Anita, nine, and Armin, six, all died.

Undated handout photo issued by the Hengaw Organization for Human Rights of (left to right) Rasoul Iran-Nejad, 35, Shiva Mohammad Panahi, 35, Anita, nine, and Armin, six, named as the four members of the Kurdish-Iranian family who died when their boat sank

The family were from the city of Sardasht in western Iran, near to the border with Iraq.

Fifteen other migrants were taken to hospital and an investigation into the sinking was opened in Dunkirk by the French public prosecutor.

Shortly after the sinking, the BBC saw a series of text messages believed to have been sent by Ms Mohammad Panahi, including one that acknowledged the danger of crossing the Channel by boat but concluded "we have no choice".

"If we want to go with a lorry we might need more money that we don't have," a second message read.

Another said: "I have a thousand sorrows in my heart and now that I have left Iran I would like to forget my past."

At a camp in Dunkirk, another refugee, Bilal Gaf, said the family stayed close to his tent for three or four days before they left, and described Artin as "famous" among those staying there.

"He was a very happy baby," he said, showing photographs of himself with the child, taken around 10 days earlier.

"People are sad, but what can we do? Nothing. Just cry."

Thousands of Iranian-Kurdish refugees put the lives of their families in the hands of smugglers and go to Europe every year.

The Kurdish region in Iran has faced both political persecution and vast economic disparity.

Between 25 and 35 million Kurds inhabit a mountainous region straddling the borders of Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Armenia.

They make up the fourth-largest ethnic group in the Middle East, but they have never obtained a permanent nation state.

Original Article