Posted on June 28, 2024

Iraqi Arrested for Rape and Murder of Teen on Board Migrant Shipwreck Headed For Italy

Thomas Brooke, Remix, June 27, 2024

An Iraqi migrant attempting to enter Italy illegally on a distressed boat has been arrested for raping a 16-year-old fellow passenger before choking her to death.

Italian authorities detained the 27-year-old suspect on June 17 after 12 people on board the migrant shipwreck located in the Ionian Sea were rescued and brought ashore.

Several dozen passengers died when the vessel got into difficulty around 120 miles from the Calabrian coast, with about 70 migrants on board.

Some 36 people were confirmed dead at the time of writing.

Once on land, the man was reported by the other passengers to the police for allegedly raping the teenager, also an Iraqi national, in front of her mother before strangling her.

Italian police reported how the man said he had been releasing his frustration after his wife and child perished during the dangerous crossing.

“He vented his aggression on a 16-year-old Iraqi girl, the daughter of another survivor, leading to her death by suffocation,” police told local media.

It is understood the suspect did not believe the adrift vessel would be rescued.

The arrest was issued by the Locri Prosecutor’s Office and was validated by the investigating judge who sanctioned the migrant’s pre-trial detention. The suspect has been transferred to the Catanzaro prison in southern Italy.

Footage of the Italian Coast Guard rescuing survivors has emerged on social media.

The vessel, which originated from Turkey, was almost entirely submerged by the time emergency responders reached the site. The survivors were transported to the port of Roccella Ionica.

The death toll of 36 comprised 15 minors, eight males and seven females. Around two dozen others are missing.

The UNHCR confirmed the majority of those on board had originated from Iran, Syria, and Iraq.