31 immigrants rescued, 3 bodies recovered after boat capsized
Illegal migrants - AFP/Mauro Seminara

CAIRO: A total of 31 immigrants were rescued, then arrested Saturday near the Mediterranean shores of Beheira after their boat capsized, and three bodies were recovered, Youm7 reported.

An Egyptian, 13 Syrians, 15 Sudanese, and two Eritreans were among those rescued.
The three bodies belonged to a child, a woman and a man, and the prosecution ordered an autopsy and an investigation to determine the cause of the death and the victims’ nationalities.

An action plan was adopted in an international conference on illegal immigration hosted by Egypt April 23-24, where Cairo called on the European Union to adopt “more positive policies” toward illegal immigration, and launch news means for documented immigration, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A draft law on illegal immigration is waiting to be ratified by the Cabinet; it stipulates a prison term of 10-20 years for offenders. Any person who causes the death or drowning of any person would be subject to the death penalty, according to the draft.

Coastguards occasionally foil the attempt of asylum seekers to reach Europe illegally, but border guards prevent dozens, mostly Egyptian, Sudanese and Somali, from reaching Libya illegally almost on weekly basis. It is uncertain whether they plan to work in Libya or migrate to Europe from there, as lawlessness in the western neighbor allows going on the risky trip easily.

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