Maryam Namazie
Published in Hambastegi English
January 8, 2000

While we celebrate the New Year and make resolutions on changing our lives, many have died trying to do just that:

* Around 50 asylum seekers, including from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Iran and Afghanistan, died in a shipping accident in the Mediterranean Sea near southern Turkey on New Year’s Day.

* A Zimbabwean was killed while trying to sneak into the United States from Canada by clinging to the underside of a Greyhound bus.

* A young Bulgarian woman died of cold while crossing Mount Belles from Bulgaria, a passage used by many for entry into Greece.

* A two-year-old Afghan was killed when a lorry crowded with Afghan asylum seekers overturned in southeast Iran.

* Viliami Tanginoa, a 52 year old Tongan, died after jumping head-first from the top of a basketball ring at Maribyrnong detention center in Australia on the Friday before Christmas to escape deportation.

* A stowaway died after plunging from a plane at Gatwick airport in London hours after the body of another stowaway was found nearby. The man who died on Christmas Day fell from the undercarriage of a British Airways jet just after it had taken off.

* A 52-year-old Colombian woman who was denied entrance into Japan fell to her death from the fourth floor of a hotel while trying to escape Japanese immigration officials along with her three-year-old granddaughter, who was slightly injured in the fall.

* Three Iraqi Kurd asylum seekers drowned after being forced off a smuggler’s boat into frigid, choppy waters off Italy’s southeastern coast. One man’s body was washed ashore while another man and a woman, said to be two months pregnant, were reported missing and believed drowned.

* At least three asylum seekers were missing and feared drowned, off Australia’s remote northwestern coast.

* Two young Albanian asylum seekers travelling in the trunk of a car from Greece’s northern border were burnt alive after their vehicle crashed and burst into flames.

* A 30-year-old Cameroonian asylum seeker died as he was being expelled from Budapest airport.

* Slovenian police shot dead a man transporting Iranian asylum seekers….

While we remember them and countless other victims of vile regimes and Fortress Europe/West in this New Year, let’s add one more resolution to our list – to fight uncompromisingly for the right to asylum and movement.

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