Mosul's ferry incident: Free perpetrators and lost rights

Mosul's ferry incident: Free perpetrators and lost rights

Shafaq News / Iraqis in general, and Mosul's Residents in particular, marked the second anniversary of the ferry that sunk in Mosul on March 21st, in which hundreds were killed and dozens went missing.

On March 21st, 2019, the Nowruz ceremonies in Mosul became a funeral after the ferry overturned and became a death cage that trapped hundreds underwater.

The number of bodies recovered to date was 142, including 11 unidentified bodies. It has been two years after the incident, but every now and then, the river police find bodies at the river's bottom, "There is no exact number of the victims because there are some missing people who have been reported as having drowned in this incident", Hassan Wathiq, director of forensic medicine in Mosul, told Shafaq News agency.

"There is a committee that keeps tabs on this file, and these figures are officially registered with the Department of Forensic Medicine", he added.

What happened?

Khaled Abdul Razzaq, a 15-year-old survivor of the incident, told Shafaq News agency, "The ferry operators loaded large numbers of people on the ferry – many told them that the ferry was full, but they underestimated the gravity of the situation."

"The People on board felt the ferry tilting in the middle of the river until it flipped and turned into a cage. I do not know what happened. My foot was seriously injured, but I managed to reach the surface among dozens of people. I was clinging to anything, for I could not see because the water was not clear. Then I started swimming and managed to reach the edge of the river despite my injury. I still can not believe what happened and how I miraculously survived", Khaled continued.

Lost rights

The Iraqi government has not done justice to the victims' families despite promises to include them in the Martyrs' Law. To date, they have not been voted on by law, and there are efforts to do so ahead of the budget vote.

"The governorate has obtained a decision from the Prime Minister to consider the victims as martyrs, but I do not know if the law has been activated or not", said Nineveh's Governor, Najim Al-Jubouri.

Tribal satisfaction

"These decisions were a dead letter and the victims' families were defrauded. They were gathered in the provincial hall and granted 10 million dinars -for each victim- and promised to receive plots of land", the deputy head of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights told Shafaq News agency.

"The majority of the victims' families were persuaded to give up, and indeed the majority were convinced except three families. In this act, the tribal norms overtook the law. The martyrs' rights were lost and this is a real disaster. The legal description has been changed and the perpetrators of this disaster have been bailed out of prison", he added.



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