Stay cool: Iraqi refugees found in refrigerated truck in Spain

Published March 12th, 2017 - 01:00 GMT
A displaced Iraqi family arrives at a safe zone on June 17, 2016 in Amiriyiah al-Fallujah, after Iraqi government forces evacuated civilians from Fallujah due to their ongoing military operation to retake the city from Daesh. [AFP/Moadh Al-Dulaimi]
A displaced Iraqi family arrives at a safe zone on June 17, 2016 in Amiriyiah al-Fallujah, after Iraqi government forces evacuated civilians from Fallujah due to their ongoing military operation to retake the city from Daesh. [AFP/Moadh Al-Dulaimi]

Two Iraqi families have been discovered (alive) in a refrigerated truck headed to great Britain. The eight refugees were found after a tip from an anonymous caller, according to an article in The New Arab. Meanwhile, the driver has been arrested on charges of human trafficking.

It is unclear whether or not the Iraqis were indeed being trafficked, or just trying to escape Hungary to a safer destination (for good reason).

In Europe, as the far right are slowly but surely rising in the political sphere, reports like these provide an important backstory to the refugee seen as different and a nuisance to some members of western society.

Refugees, scarred from conflict and fleeing danger in their own countries, often live in deplorable conditions and sometimes perish throughout their journeys to safer nations. However, these nations, who claim to be bastions of freedom and champions of human rights, often close the doors in the faces of the people most vulnerable to persecution.

There are 21.3 million refugees in the world, and more than half of them are of Middle Eastern origin; 5.2 million are Palestinian, while 4.9 million are Syrian, according to UNHCR. This is not to mention the millions of Iraqi refugees, who have been fleeing conflict for decades. Meanwhile, political movements in the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Hungary, and other western countries have created an anti-refugee, and especially anti-Muslim, environment, making the future for those those seeking asylum less and less certain.

LM

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