Vietnam has jailed four people over their roles in the death of 39 migrants found in a refrigerated truck in the UK last year, state media said.
The deaths of the 31 men and eight women from Vietnam, who were found in a vehicle near London in October, highlighted the enormous risks of illegal migration to Europe and sparked an international outcry.
The four defendants — the youngest aged 26 and the oldest 36 — were given prison sentences of between two-and-a-half years and seven-and-a-half years by a court in Ha Tinh Province on Monday, the official provincial newspaper reported.
They were found guilty of “organizing, brokering illegal emigration,” it said, adding that three others had been given suspended sentences.
However, Nguyen Dinh Gia, who lost his 20-year-old son, Luong, in the tragedy, told reporters that he believed the defendants should not have been given jail terms.
“The people involved were just trying to help and then the accident happened,” he said, adding that he had not known the trial was taking place. “He was an adult who made his own decision and joined the trip voluntarily with the aim to improve his life, earning money to alleviate our poverty.”
Gia said his son had wanted to travel to the UK from France, where he had been living illegally since 2018.
The journey to the UK, where he aimed to look for work in a nail salon, would have cost him about ￡11,000 (US$14,177).
“It has been almost a year, but whenever I think about this, it’s still painful,” Gia said.
Luong and the majority of the other migrants came from a handful of poor central provinces, hotspots for illegal migration to Europe.
The truck carrying the victims — including two 15-year-old boys — arrived on a ferry from the Belgian port of Zeebrugge in the early hours of Oct. 23 last year.
They died from lack of oxygen and overheating, post-mortem examinations found.
An Australian university student who has never visited China and has only a modest social media following would seem an unlikely target for the Chinese government. However, when a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman personally denounced Drew Pavlou at a news conference, it was just the next phase in an extraordinary campaign against the 21-year-old that has fueled concerns over China’s targeting of critics overseas. Pavlou first placed himself in the superpower’s sights when in July last year he organized a small sit-in at the University of Queensland, where he studies, to protest against various Chinese government policies. Since then, the Global
‘ASKED TO MOVE OUT’: Indonesian coast guard personnel argued with a Chinese vessel over territorial claims after it entered the country’s exclusive economic zone An Indonesian patrol ship confronted a Chinese coast guard vessel that spent almost three days in waters where Indonesia claims economic rights and that are near the southernmost part of China’s disputed claims to the South China Sea. The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency on Friday night detected Chinese ship 5204 entering Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in what Indonesia calls the North Natuna Sea. The agency sent a patrol ship that closed within 1km of the Chinese coast guard vessel and they communicated to affirm their position and their nation’s claims to the area, Indonesian Maritime Security Agency head Aan Kurnia said. “We
BEFORE WINTER COMES: Snow cuts off roads into Ladakh for four months or more each year, so the crunch is on to get food, tents and high-altitude equipment to Leh From deploying mules to large transport aircraft, the Indian military has activated its entire logistics network to transport supplies to thousands of troops for a harsh winter along a bitterly disputed Himalayan border with China. In the past few months, one of India’s biggest military logistics exercises in years has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh, a region bordering Tibet that India administers as a union territory, officials said. The move was triggered by a border standoff with China in the snow deserts of Ladakh that began in May and escalated in June into hand-to-hand
Dark matter, mysterious invisible stuff that makes up most of the mass of galaxies, including the Milky Way, is confounding scientists again, with new observations of distant galaxies conflicting with the current understanding of its nature. Research published this week revealed an unexpected discrepancy between observations of dark matter concentrations in three massive clusters of galaxies encompassing trillions of stars and theoretical computer simulations of how dark matter should be distributed. “Either there is a missing ingredient in the simulations or we have made a fundamental incorrect assumption about the nature of dark matter,” Yale University astrophysicist Priyamvada Natarajan, a coauthor of