Teen Girl Was Raped And Murdered On Sinking Migrant Boat By Iraqi Man Who Was “Venting His Anger” Over Refugee Journey Perils

Jack Hadfield

A 27-year-old Iraqi man is alleged to have raped and then strangled to death a teenage Iraqi girl while both were stuck on a sinking boat that was ferrying them illegally across the Mediterranean to Italy.

According to local Italian reports, the man, also of Iraqi origin, was one of the many passengers on the boat last week that was smuggling the migrants to Italy via Turkey. Other passengers included the victim’s mother, and the alleged assailant’s own wife and daughter.

The ship had become adrift for at least five days after its engine reportedly exploded, slowly beginning to sink on the night of June 16.

The man is said to have launched his brutal attack on the teenage girl because he was “venting” his fury after his wife and daughter both drowned, according to Italian investigators and other survivors of the vessel, who were brought to the port of Roccella Ionica after the sinking.

The victim’s mother, who saw her daughter killed in front of her, was one of only 12 who were rescued from the ship, meaning she was then able to report her daughter’s murder to the police.

After doing so, the local prosecutor’s office issued a detention order on the charges of voluntary homicide against the man, who was at the time hospitalized in the town of Soverato for some of the injuries he had sustained during the shipwreck. He has since been detained in Catanzaro prison, the capital of the Calabria region.

Investigators believe that at least 70 people may have been trying to make the journey from Turkey to Italy when the ship wrecked 120 miles off of the Italian coast. One of the survivors later died of her injuries, and 35 bodies have been recovered, including 15 children, bringing the official death toll of the wreck so far to 36.

Security forces in Kurdistan in Iraq arrested four men on suspicion of human trafficking over the wreck, which was allegedly carrying mostly Iraqi and Irani Kurdish migrants, along with some families from Afghanistan.

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